SINGAPORE, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The South Korean won led declines among emerging Asian currencies on Monday as fears over China tightening dented appetite for riskier assets, while the Thai baht eased after a bomb blast fueled worries about political tensions.
Regional currencies also slid as the dollar broadly rose ahead of key U.S. data, which will provide more clues on the pace of the Federal Reserve’s cut in its stimulus.
The Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS extended its recent slide after the central bank fixed its daily midpoint weaker for a fifth session. CNY/
“That indicates how serious Chinese property markets’ problems are. A slowing property sector will weigh on the whole economy, and that will be a blow to other Asian economies,” said Yuna Park, a currency and bond analyst at Dongbu Securities in Seoul.
“Asian currencies may suffer from more profit-taking,” Park added.
Most emerging Asian currencies have risen so far this month as some data such as January trade and loan figures had eased worries about China’s slowing economy.
Regional currencies failed to get a boost from the latest Group of 20’s commitment to spur faster global growth, even though the final communique acknowledged emerging countries’ concerns over the Fed’s policy shift. (Full Story)
The final weekend communique from the two-day meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Sydney said they would increase investment and employment, generating more than $2 trillion in additional output over five years while creating tens of million of new jobs, signalling optimism that the worst of crisis-era austerity was past. (Full Story)
The won slid, tracking its overnight weakness in non-deliverable forwards, in thin trading and on softer Seoul shares .KS11.
Local exporters bought the won for settlements around 1,078 per dollar, limiting its losses, traders said.
The won has the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement at 1,077.8 of its appreciation in February.
The baht fell after a bomb killed three people and wounded at least 22 in a busy shopping district of Bangkok on Sunday, hours after supporters of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra promised to get tough with anti-government protesters. (Full Story)
Thai shares .SETI lost 0.6 percent, underperforming most of their regional stock markets. Government bond yields also rose.
“We continue to favour weakness in the baht as political uncertainty in our view is too great, and continues to render Thai assets too risky, despite attractive equity valuations,” Scotia bank said in a note.
The rupiah rose as local banks bought the currency on behalf of exporters, traders said.
The Indonesian currency also found support from capital inflows.
The official Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR) JISDOR=, which the central bank launched last year in an effort to manage exchange rate fluctuations, was fixed at 11,728 rupiah per dollar, stronger than Friday’s 11,792.
“People will most likely to watch 11,500 if the momentum keeps adding up,” said a Jakarta-based trader, referring to the rupiah’s value against the dollar.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0430 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 102.21 102.50 +0.28 Sing dlr 1.2665 1.2681 +0.13 Taiwan dlr 30.340 30.395 +0.18 Korean won 1075.90 1072.10 -0.35 Baht 32.58 32.52 -0.17 Peso 44.64 44.57 -0.16 Rupiah 11680.00 11735.00 +0.47 Rupee 62.14 62.12 -0.03 Ringgit 3.2950 3.2950 +0.00 Yuan 6.0941 6.0914 -0.04
Change so far in 2014
Currency Latest bid End prev year Pct Move Japan yen 102.21 105.28 +3.00 Sing dlr 1.2665 1.2632 -0.26 Taiwan dlr 30.340 29.950 -1.29 Korean won 1075.90 1055.40 -1.91 Baht 32.58 32.86 +0.87 Peso 44.64 44.40 -0.54 Rupiah 11680.00 12160.00 +4.11 Rupee 62.14 61.80 -0.55 Ringgit 3.2950 3.2755 -0.59 Yuan 6.0941 6.0539 -0.66