Taiwan stocks hit record high; Asian currencies weaken

Taiwan stocks hit record high; Asian currencies weaken
Taiwan stocks hit record high; Asian currencies weaken
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EMERGING MARKETS-Taiwan stocks hit record high; Asian currencies weaken

Taiwan stocks hit a record high

Philippine stocks at 1-year high

S. Korea won, Taiwan dollar hit multi-month lows

By Poonam Behura

April 2 (Reuters) Stocks in Taiwan surged to a record high amid higher inflows into Asian equities on Tuesday, while most regional currencies weakened against the dollar as strong economic data reinforced bets against earlier US rate cuts.

Taiwan’s benchmark index .TWII rose 1% to a record high of 20,451,790 points. The Philippine main shares index .PSI jumped 1%, hitting its highest level since Jan. 27, 2023.

“In Taiwan and South Korea, the equity markets are very tech focused and a global equity bull market has been driven by the tech sector particularly in Taiwan and Korea,” said Alvin Tan, who heads Asia FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

“But that’s obviously not helping the Taiwan dollar or even the South Korean won and that’s because the US dollar is basically strong right across the board,” Tan noted.

Traders dialed back expectations of Federal Reserve rate cuts after data on Monday showed US manufacturing grew for the first time in 1-1/2 years last month due to a production rebound and increased new orders.

The robust data sent the benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield US10YT=RR to as high as 4,337%, its strongest level since March 18. US/

This underpinned the US dollar’s climb on Tuesday. The index .DXY that measures the strength of greenback against rival currencies rose by 0.3% to 105.02.

Meanwhile, the MSCI index for emerging markets currencies .MIEM00000CUS fell by 0.3%.

In Asia, the Taiwanese dollar TWD=TP depreciated 0.3% to its lowest since Nov 16. The Malaysian ringgit MYR= slipped 0.4% to a four-week low. The South Korean won KRW=KFTC also dipped 0.2% and touched its lowest level in five months.

Consumer prices in South Korea last month rose 3.1%, matching market expectations and the previous month’s pace.

An official at Bank Indonesia said the central bank continued to intervene in the foreign exchange market to stabilize the currency, after the rupiah IDR= retired again on Tuesday. It was last down 0.3%, at a level not seen since October 2023.

The country’s benchmark index .JKSE also fell 0.5%, a day after data showed annual inflation in March rose at the fastest pace in seven months.

“Bank Indonesia will likely remain vigilant, in view of uncertainty on the timing of Fed rate cuts, a narrowing trade surplus and rising domestic inflation,” Maybank analysts said in a client note.

Investors are on the lookout for inflation data from the Philippines on Friday, an important metric for central banks in setting the tone for their monetary policies.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Japan warns of action against excessive yen volatility

**Chinese state banks sell dollars as yuan hits 4-1/2-month low, sources say

**Pakistan annual CPI gauge drops to 20.7% in March, data shows

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0419 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

-0.08

-7.04

.N225

-0.16

7.39pm

China

CNY=CFXS

-0.05

-1.89

.SSEC

0.03

3.48

India

INR=IN

+0.05

-0.18

.NSEI

0.14

3.50

Indonesia

IDR=

-0.31

-3.39

.JKSE

-0.49

-1.41

Malaysia

MYR=

-0.42

-3.31

.KLSE

0.35

6.51

Philippines

PHP=

-0.18

-1.70

.PSI

1.02

9.32

S. Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.19

-4.73

.KS11

0.21

3.71

Singapore

SGD=

-0.04

-2.50

.STI

0.37

0.20

Taiwan

TWD=TP

-0.25

-4.13

.TWII

0.95

13.85

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.14

-6.78

.SETI

-0.07

-2.63

Reporting by Poonam Behura in Bengaluru; Editing by Jamie Freed

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Taiwan stocks hit record high Asian currencies weaken

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