July 31, 2020 / 4:53 AM / 9 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies revel in dollar's woes, set to end July with gains

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * USD set for biggest monthly drop in 10 yrs, boosts Asian
FX
    * Indian rupee up 0.8% in July, best show since June 2019
    * Focus on India and Thai central bank meet next week

    By Rashmi Ashok
    July 31 (Reuters) - Asian currencies rose on Friday as the
dollar slid to a two-year low, with most set to end July with
their best performance in months as the greenback was shunned on
worries the U.S. economic recovery would be slow.
    Several Asian markets were closed for the Eid al-Adha public
holiday although the currencies of South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand
and China, which were open, were all firmer.
    All regional currencies, except for the Indonesian rupiah
 and the Thai baht, are set for monthly gains of
around 1% each, benefiting from the dollar's banishment.
    Despite a continued surge in coronavirus infections in
India, the rupee is poised to end July with a 0.8% gain
- its best monthly performance in over a year.
    The Singapore dollar is looking towards its best
showing since December, while the Chinese yuan is on
track for its best month since October. 
    Indonesia's rupiah, however, has been July's worst
performer with a drop of 2.5%, as its coronavirus case load
surged to the highest in East Asia, forcing the government to
extend restrictions in Jakarta for a third time.
    Taking advantage of the dollar's slump on Friday, the South
Korean won firmed 0.7% to hit a four-month high,
while the Thai baht rose by the same margin to touch
its strongest since July 9.
    The dollar index fell on Friday and was on course for its
biggest monthly fall in 10 years, as a second wave of
coronavirus cases in recent weeks halted plans to reopen the
economy and led to restrictions in various states.
    Furthermore, a bill aimed at providing financial support to
millions of jobless Americans remained stalled in the U.S.
Congress, even as data showed claims for unemployment benefits
increased last week.
    While some offshore currencies continued to trade, all other
equity and currency markets in Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia
and Indonesia remained shut on account of local holidays. 
    Among key events in the week ahead, investors will look to
July export data from China, South Korea and Taiwan to gauge the
state of global demand.
    Bank of Thailand will meet next Wednesday where it is
largely expected to keep rates on hold and save ammunition for a
more desperate time, as hinted at earlier.
    The Reserve Bank of India will announce its policy decision
a day later, where expectations are evenly divided, given that
the central bank has room to ease rates but grapples with a
spike in inflation. 

    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Top gainers on Thailand's SETI include
Thai-German Products up 16.67% and TWZ Corp
gaining 16.67% 
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields was down 3.5
basis points at 1.205%​​ and 3-year benchmark yield was 0.5
basis points lower at 0.565%​​ 
    ** Thailand's SET 100 Index was up 0.16% at
1902.81; down 18.89% YTD
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                        
 currencies at   0349 GMT                                 
 COUNTRY      FX RIC         FX  FX YTD    INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                          DAILY       %            DAILY   YTD %
                              %                        %  
 Japan                    +0.37   +4.10            -1.87   -7.34
 China                    +0.29   -0.37            -0.05    7.70
 India                     0.00   -4.62             0.00   -8.76
 Philippines               0.00   +3.07                -       -
 S.Korea                  +0.37   -2.82            -0.19    2.96
 Singapore                +0.14   -1.86                -       -
 Taiwan                   +0.76   +2.76            -0.38    5.64
 Thailand                 +0.74   -4.13             0.02  -16.70
 


 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)
  
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