Economic news

Most Asian Stocks Subdued on Quicker U.S. Rate Hike Bets

  • Manila stocks notch best day since Nov. 5
  • Regional currencies weaken against strong dollar
  • Singapore's Oct. core CPI rises most in nearly 3 years

Nov 23 (Reuters) - Shares in most Asian emerging markets were subdued on Tuesday, as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's reappointment for a second term raised bets for quicker rate hikes, but Philippine stocks recorded their best session in two-and-half weeks.

The overnight news on Powell buffeted financial markets and boosted the U.S. dollar and treasury yields, as traders prepared for the imminent end to the Fed's large scale coronavirus-led emergency Fed bond-buying programme.

The regional currencies also weakened, with Thai baht , one of the worst performing currencies in the region this year, falling 0.8% to hit a two-week low. The South Korean won and Malaysian ringgit fell 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.

"Except for CNY, most currencies, including those in EM Asia, cowered under a stronger USD from higher US Treasury yields and the sell-off in S&P and Nasdaq," said Philip Wee, FX strategist at DBS.

Riskier assets in emerging markets have also come under selling pressure over recent sessions amid surging COVID-19 cases in Europe and renewed curbs, dousing investor hopes of a quicker economic recovery.

Stocks in Manila, however, outperformed to close 1.6% higher, recouping previous week's losses. The peso also bucked the broader trend to edge higher.

"Negative market sentiment across our Asian neighbours was mostly fuelled by growing concerns over tighter monetary policies in a bid to stem inflation," said Corenne Agravio, Senior Equity Analyst at Regina Capital Development Corp in Manila.

"However, the BSP has reaffirmed its stance on keeping rates steady, which buoyed investor sentiment," she said, referring to the Philippine central bank.

Sentiment was also buoyed by a steady decline in COVID-19 cases in Philippines since mid-September. The country logged 984 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.

Shares in Taiwan, Indonesia and South Korea were down between 0.5% and 0.8%.

Stocks in India fell as much as 1.2% in early trade, before reversing course to trade 0.1% higher.

Singapore's key inflation price gauge rose by the fastest pace in nearly three years in October, mainly driven by higher services and food inflation. The city state's shares were down 0.2%, while its dollar also weakened. 


** In the Philippines, top index gainer was Alliance Global Group Inc , up 4.99%

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields down 0.9 basis points at 6.18%

** Top loser on the Jakarta stock index was PT Temas Tbk, down 7%

Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Source: Reuters

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