Taiwan stocks close at record high; Asian currency slump

Taiwan stocks close at record high; Asian currency slump
Taiwan stocks close at record high; Asian currency slump
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EMERGING MARKETS-Taiwan stocks close at record high; Asian currency slump

Taiwan stocks close at a record high

Thai baht, S.Korean won and Indonesia’s rupiah at multi-month lows

Malaysian ringgit at 5-week low

Updated at 0706 GMT

By Poonam Behura

April 2 (Reuters) Taiwan’s stocks closed at a record high on Tuesday amid higher inflows into several Asian equities, while most regional currencies weakened against the dollar as strong economic data pushed back against bets on earlier US rate cuts.

Taiwan’s benchmark index .TWII rose 1.2% to close at a record high of 20,466,570 points. The Malaysian .KLSE and South Korean main shares indexes .KS11 jumped 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.

“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.”

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 105.067.

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

In Southeast Asia, the Thai baht THB=TH fell 0.2% to its lowest in nearly six months after the region’s second-largest economy approved a plan to increase its budget deficit next year despite fiscal concerns.

The baht has fallen 6.9% so far this year, making it the second-worst performer in Asia.

Among other currencies, the Taiwanese dollar TWD=TP deprecated 0.3% to its lowest since Nov. 15. The Malaysian ringgit MYR= slipped 0.5% to a five-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 15.915 per US dollar, a level not seen since October 2023.

Indonesia’s benchmark index .JKSE also fell 0.4%, a day after data showed annual inflation in March rose at the fastest pace in seven months.

“With USDIDR approaching 16000, another 25bp rate hike to defend the IDR is not out of the question for Bank Indonesia,” Barclays’ analysts wrote.

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:

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

**Traditional pre-election rally eludes Indian stocks

**World Bank raises Sri Lanka’s growth forecast to 2.2% for 2024

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0706 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

-0.03

-7.00

.N225

0.09

19.68

China

CNY=CFXS

-0.06

-1.90

.SSEC

-0.14

3.30

India

INR=IN

+0.05

-0.18

.NSEI

-0.16

3.19

Indonesia

IDR=

-0.25

-3.33

.JKSE

-0.38

-1.31

Malaysia

MYR=

-0.48

-3.37

.KLSE

0.35

6.51

Philippines

PHP=

-0.15

-1.67

.PSI

-0.28

7.91

S. Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.20

-4.74

.KS11

0.19

3.69

Singapore

SGD=

-0.05

-2.51

.STI

0.24

0.07

Taiwan

TWD=TP

-0.32

-4.20

.TWII

1.21

14.14

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.22

-6.86

.SETI

-0.26

-2.82

Reporting by Poonam Behura in Bengaluru; Editing by Jamie Freed and Mrigank Dhaniwala

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Taiwan stocks close record high Asian currency slump

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