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Anushka Trivedi

Long bets on rupee hit over three-year high, peso bears return: Reuters poll

Feb 25 2021

Bullish positions on the Indian rupee climbed to a more than three-year high on optimism over economic outlook, a Reuters poll found, while investors turned bearish on the Philippine peso for the first time since April last year.

POLL-Long bets on rupee hit over 3-year high, peso bears return

Feb 25 2021

* RBI may hike rates twice later this year - Deutsche Bank * Philippine peso hit as govt extends COVID-19 restrictions * Bullish bets raised on yuan, rupiah, Singapore dollar By Anushka Trivedi Feb 25 Bullish positions on the Indian rupee climbed to a more than three-year high on optimism over economic outlook, a Reuters poll found, while investors turned bearish on the Philippine peso for the first time since April last year. The dollar has hit multi-year lows this week, despite a jump in U.S. yields, on the Federal Reserve's dovish tone and as risk appetite improved due to vaccination efforts, with investors now looking to high-growth economies that will benefit from a pick-up in global trade. Long-term bearish view on the greenback led to bullish bets being raised on most Asian currencies, including the Chinese yuan, the Indonesian rupiah, Singapore's dollar and the Malaysian ringgit, the fortnightly poll of 14 respondents showed. The biggest jump in positions was seen in the rupee, which has risen almost 1% in February on huge foreign fund inflows into equities as the Indian economy looks set to rebound sharply amid a sustained decline in COVID-19 cases and an uptick in business activity. India's economy is expected to have returned to growth in the last quarter, according to a Reuters poll, while HSBC predicts it will build on the momentum to grow by double-digits in fiscal 2021. Stubbornly high inflation and better growth outlook may prompt the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to raise the reverse repo rate twice by 20 basis points in the second half of this year, Deutsche Bank economists said in a note. However, the RBI has been dovish of late as it expects inflation to be reined in and high foreign exchange reserves to keep the rupee stable. Long views on the yuan increased slightly, with talks swirling that Chinese authorities may begin to adopt a tighter policy stance soon. That and China's economic outperformance have made the yuan a mighty rival to the dollar. However, the central bank's tight leash on the currency has kept investors cautious. The rupiah was also favoured as markets hoped that Bank Indonesia's easing cycle had come to an end after it trimmed rates last week for the sixth time since the pandemic started. Southeast Asia's largest economy is showing signs of growth and its hefty current account surplus is expected to keep the rupiah supported at least through this year, analysts said. Meanwhile, investors reversed their positions to go short on the Philippine peso after the government extended curbs in Manila, which were set to end this month, until mass vaccinations begin. Lockdowns in the archipelago were considered one of the world's longest and strictest as they had shuttered thousands of businesses and left millions out of work, causing the economy to contract by a record 9.5% in 2020. The Asian currency positioning poll is focused on what analysts and fund managers believe are the current market positions in nine Asian emerging market currencies: the Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian rupiah, Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit and the Thai baht. The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a scale of minus 3 to plus 3. A score of plus 3 indicates the market is significantly long U.S. dollars. The figures include positions held through non-deliverable forwards (NDFs). The survey findings are provided below (positions in U.S. dollar versus each currency): Date USD/C USD/KR USD/SG USD/ID USD/T USD/IN USD/M USD/P USD/TH NY W D R WD R YR HP B 25-Feb -1.03 -0.32 -0.57 -0.51 -0.58 -0.96 -0.13 0.01 -0.37 11-Feb -0.91 -0.24 -0.29 -0.36 -0.63 -0.53 -0.04 -0.47 -0.41 28-Jan -1.08 -0.64 -0.79 -0.41 -0.68 -0.55 -0.3 -0.66 -0.36 14-Jan -1.21 -0.87 -0.83 -0.57 -0.89 -0.22 -0.3 -0.8 -0.5 10-Dec -1.53 -1.68 -1.11 -0.61 -1.6 -0.2 -0.53 -0.97 -0.87 26-Nov -1.43 -1.29 -1.01 -0.92 -1.08 -0.3 -0.75 -0.8 -0.66 12-Nov -1.28 -1.52 -0.99 -1.01 -1.08 -0.26 -0.44 -0.67 -0.8 29-Oct -0.86 -1.14 -0.49 0.09 -1.23 -0.07 -0.03 -0.09 -0.02 15-Oct -1.07 -0.94 -0.72 0.35 -1.12 -0.44 -0.33 -0.15 0.1 01-Oct -0.47 -0.53 -0.25 0.61 -0.68 -0.31 -0.31 -0.68 0.38 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah falls on bond outflows; most Asian FX, equities eye weekly loss

Feb 19 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Indonesia benchmark bond yields up ~38 bps this week * Rupiah may stay subdued for a while - DBS analyst * S. Korea shares, won rebound to close up * Indian currency markets shut By Anushka Trivedi Feb 19 The Indonesian rupiah hit a three-week low on Friday as investors dumped the country's bonds after an interest rate cut amid a dour economic outlook and rising U.S. yields, while most Asian stocks and currencies were headed for a weekly loss. Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields returned to a near one-year high hit earlier this week, putting pressure on riskier Asian stocks and currencies across the board. A subdued greenback failed to lift the Thai baht , the Malaysian ringgit and Singapore's dollar as they traded flat to lower on the day. Their respective stock exchanges, and were on track to shed 0.5% to 1.5% for the week. The rupiah fell 0.4%, off about 1.6% from its Tuesday's high, as a crippling COVID-19 infection wave led Bank Indonesia (BI) to trim rates by 25 basis points (bps) the previous day and downgrade its economic growth forecast for 2021. Indonesia's bonds, favoured by foreign investors for their high yields, also suffered the brunt of rising U.S. yields and in turn pressured the rupiah. "Markets are looking past BI's rate cut and are focusing on the uptick in U.S. Treasury yields," said Wei Liang Chang, a macro strategist at DBS Bank. "With equity risk appetite softening and U.S. yields staying firm, the rupiah could stay on the back foot, with sentiment further dampening after BI trimmed its growth expectations for the year." Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields were up 9.1 basis points to 6.624%, their highest since early November. The yields have jumped about 38 bps so far this week. A bright spot in markets, South Korea's stocks and won rebounded to close higher as the government mulled a fifth round of COVID-19 cash handouts. Indian currency markets were closed for a holiday, while shares fell 0.3% on profit-taking in lenders. HIGHLIGHTS ** Rupiah ends about 0.6% weaker for the week ** Top losers on the Singapore STI include: Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd down 3.9% and Keppel DC REIT down 2.4% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are: Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc up 3.8% and Ayala Corp up 3.1% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0746 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.05 -2.24 -0.72 9.38 China +0.38 +0.99 0.57 6.42 India 0.00 +0.57 -0.35 7.76 Indonesia -0.39 -0.18 0.33 4.04 Malaysia -0.07 -0.57 0.22 -2.95 Philippines -0.02 -0.89 1.12 -2.99 S.Korea +0.15 -1.78 0.68 8.15 Singapore +0.03 -0.35 -0.99 1.28 Taiwan +1.35 +1.90 -0.51 10.92 Thailand +0.03 -0.13 -0.82 3.41 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah falls on bond outflows; most Asian FX, equities eye weekly loss

Feb 19 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Indonesia benchmark bond yields up ~38 bps this week * Rupiah may stay subdued for a while - DBS analyst * S. Korea shares, won rebound to close up * Indian currency markets shut By Anushka Trivedi Feb 19 The Indonesian rupiah hit a three-week low on Friday as investors dumped the country's bonds after an interest rate cut amid a dour economic outlook and rising U.S. yields, while most Asian stocks and currencies were headed for a weekly loss. Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields returned to a near one-year high hit earlier this week, putting pressure on riskier Asian stocks and currencies across the board. A subdued greenback failed to lift the Thai baht , the Malaysian ringgit and Singapore's dollar as they traded flat to lower on the day. Their respective stock exchanges, and were on track to shed 0.5% to 1.5% for the week. The rupiah fell 0.4%, off about 1.6% from its Tuesday's high, as a crippling COVID-19 infection wave led Bank Indonesia (BI) to trim rates by 25 basis points (bps) the previous day and downgrade its economic growth forecast for 2021. Indonesia's bonds, favoured by foreign investors for their high yields, also suffered the brunt of rising U.S. yields and in turn pressured the rupiah. "Markets are looking past BI's rate cut and are focusing on the uptick in U.S. Treasury yields," said Wei Liang Chang, a macro strategist at DBS Bank. "With equity risk appetite softening and U.S. yields staying firm, the rupiah could stay on the back foot, with sentiment further dampening after BI trimmed its growth expectations for the year." Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields were up 9.1 basis points to 6.624%, their highest since early November. The yields have jumped about 38 bps so far this week. A bright spot in markets, South Korea's stocks and won rebounded to close higher as the government mulled a fifth round of COVID-19 cash handouts. Indian currency markets were closed for a holiday, while shares fell 0.3% on profit-taking in lenders. HIGHLIGHTS ** Rupiah ends about 0.6% weaker for the week ** Top losers on the Singapore STI include: Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd down 3.9% and Keppel DC REIT down 2.4% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are: Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc up 3.8% and Ayala Corp up 3.1% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0746 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.05 -2.24 -0.72 9.38 China +0.38 +0.99 0.57 6.42 India 0.00 +0.57 -0.35 7.76 Indonesia -0.39 -0.18 0.33 4.04 Malaysia -0.07 -0.57 0.22 -2.95 Philippines -0.02 -0.89 1.12 -2.99 S.Korea +0.15 -1.78 0.68 8.15 Singapore +0.03 -0.35 -0.99 1.28 Taiwan +1.35 +1.90 -0.51 10.92 Thailand +0.03 -0.13 -0.82 3.41 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah hurt by rate cut, bond outflows on dour economic outlook

Feb 19 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Indonesia benchmark bond yields up ~34 bps this week * Rupiah at 3-week low * Singapore shares drop 1% * Indian currency markets shut By Anushka Trivedi Feb 19 The Indonesian rupiah led losses among Asian currencies on Friday, a day after the country's central bank cut interest rates and trimmed the 2021 growth forecast, with rising U.S. yields sparking bond outflows to weigh on the currency. Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields returned to a near one-year high level hit earlier this week, which has pressured riskier Asian stocks and currencies across the board. Despite a weaker greenback, the Singapore dollar , South Korean won and the Philippine peso all declined between 0.1% to 0.2%. The rupiah fell 0.4% to a three-week low, while local stocks slid, both on track for weekly losses as a debilitating wave of COVID-19 infections caused Bank Indonesia to trim rates by 25 basis points (bps) and downgrade the economic outlook on Thursday. "The 2021 growth outlook was lowered...which is quite disappointing, but rupiah may continue to focus on external factors," said Daniel Dubrovsky, a strategist at trading platform IG. "Rising longer-term rates in the world's largest economy may gradually slow the path for appreciation in the rupiah." Indonesia's bonds, a foreign investor favourite, lost some sheen with 10-year benchmark yields rising 5.1 bps to 6.583%, their highest since November 5. The bonds yields have jumped almost 34 bps so far this week. Meanwhile, Philippine and Malaysia shares edged up after two sessions of heavy losses, while Singapore's index slumped 1.3%. South Korea equities continued their descent for third day on recent jump in coronavirus cases, giving up most of their vaccine-fuelled rally gains earlier this week. Indian currency markets were closed for a holiday, while shares fell 0.5% on profit-taking. HIGHLIGHTS ** Rupiah down about 1.1% since Tuesday ** Top losers on the Singapore STI include: Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd down 2.9% and Keppel DC REIT down 2.1% ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Planet Properindo Jaya PT down 9.7% and MNC Land Tbk PT down 7% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0433 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % % Japan -0.01 -2.30 -1.16 8.89 China +0.27 +0.88 -0.32 5.49 India 0.00 +0.57 -0.19 7.92 Indonesia -0.43 -0.21 -0.40 3.29 Malaysia -0.05 -0.54 0.17 -2.99 Philippines -0.04 -0.91 0.59 -3.50 S.Korea -0.07 -2.00 -0.42 6.97 Singapore -0.12 -0.50 -1.28 0.98 Taiwan +1.39 +1.94 -0.68 10.73 Thailand -0.03 -0.20 -0.89 3.33 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah hurt by rate cut, bond outflows on dour economic outlook

Feb 19 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Indonesia benchmark bond yields up ~34 bps this week * Rupiah at 3-week low * Singapore shares drop 1% * Indian currency markets shut By Anushka Trivedi Feb 19 The Indonesian rupiah led losses among Asian currencies on Friday, a day after the country's central bank cut interest rates and trimmed the 2021 growth forecast, with rising U.S. yields sparking bond outflows to weigh on the currency. Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields returned to a near one-year high level hit earlier this week, which has pressured riskier Asian stocks and currencies across the board. Despite a weaker greenback, the Singapore dollar , South Korean won and the Philippine peso all declined between 0.1% to 0.2%. The rupiah fell 0.4% to a three-week low, while local stocks slid, both on track for weekly losses as a debilitating wave of COVID-19 infections caused Bank Indonesia to trim rates by 25 basis points (bps) and downgrade the economic outlook on Thursday. "The 2021 growth outlook was lowered...which is quite disappointing, but rupiah may continue to focus on external factors," said Daniel Dubrovsky, a strategist at trading platform IG. "Rising longer-term rates in the world's largest economy may gradually slow the path for appreciation in the rupiah." Indonesia's bonds, a foreign investor favourite, lost some sheen with 10-year benchmark yields rising 5.1 bps to 6.583%, their highest since November 5. The bonds yields have jumped almost 34 bps so far this week. Meanwhile, Philippine and Malaysia shares edged up after two sessions of heavy losses, while Singapore's index slumped 1.3%. South Korea equities continued their descent for third day on recent jump in coronavirus cases, giving up most of their vaccine-fuelled rally gains earlier this week. Indian currency markets were closed for a holiday, while shares fell 0.5% on profit-taking. HIGHLIGHTS ** Rupiah down about 1.1% since Tuesday ** Top losers on the Singapore STI include: Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd down 2.9% and Keppel DC REIT down 2.1% ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Planet Properindo Jaya PT down 9.7% and MNC Land Tbk PT down 7% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0433 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % % Japan -0.01 -2.30 -1.16 8.89 China +0.27 +0.88 -0.32 5.49 India 0.00 +0.57 -0.19 7.92 Indonesia -0.43 -0.21 -0.40 3.29 Malaysia -0.05 -0.54 0.17 -2.99 Philippines -0.04 -0.91 0.59 -3.50 S.Korea -0.07 -2.00 -0.42 6.97 Singapore -0.12 -0.50 -1.28 0.98 Taiwan +1.39 +1.94 -0.68 10.73 Thailand -0.03 -0.20 -0.89 3.33 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesia rupiah steady, stocks fall after c.bank rate cut, GDP downgrade

Feb 18 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Indonesia cenbank also cuts lending facility rate * Do not see scope for another rate cut by BI going forward - analysts * SingTel shares drop on data breach By Anushka Trivedi Feb 18 The Indonesian rupiah was little changed while stocks declined after the country's central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points, as expected, and downgraded the economic growth outlook for 2021. Bank Indonesia (BI) slashed the benchmark rate to 3.50%, its sixth since the start of the pandemic, but saw "limited" room for any more cuts even as it acknowledged the weakness in policy transmission since loans have struggled to pick up. Rupiah was flat in the run up to the decision after weakening 0.7% over the past two sessions, while stocks fell 0.4%, retreating from a 0.9% jump in the morning trade. BI also trimmed the lending facility rate and relaxed some borrowing rules as it now forecasts slower economic growth in 2021 due to the harsh second wave of COVID-19 infections, but banked on vaccines to drive a rebound. "While a relatively stable currency in general helped BI to opt for a cut, it needs to be remembered that weak economic activity is the prime reason for Indonesia's healthy current account balance," said Kunal Kundu, an economist at Societe Generale. "Going forward, we do not see any further scope of rate cut by BI unless the COVID-19 situation worsens even further." The central bank signalled it would use other means to provide monetary help, including continuing to buy government bonds, which BNP Paribas' head of ASEAN Economics Arup Raha saw as vital if done in tandem with fiscal support. Indonesia financed its 2020 fiscal deficit and COVID-19 stimulus by raising debt, a good portion of which was bought by the central bank. Other currencies in the region eased as the dollar firmed on signs of a pickup in the U.S. economy. The Malaysian ringgit, the Thai baht and the Philippine peso all fell around 0.2%. Most Asian stocks were also downbeat, with the Straits Times Index slipping 0.5% after Singapore Telecommunications slumped on reporting a privacy breach, which led to data of some consumers being stolen. HIGHLIGHTS ** Indonesia c. bank says rupiah has room to strengthen, is fundamentally undervalued ** South Korea stocks slid 1.5% to a one-week low on continuing jump in coronavirus cases ** JGS Summit and Aboitiz Equity are top losers on the Philippine index Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0817 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.02 -2.45 -0.19 10.17 China -0.20 +0.89 0.55 5.82 India -0.01 +0.44 -0.74 7.98 Indonesia +0.00 +0.21 -0.44 3.70 Malaysia -0.15 -0.57 -0.64 -2.59 Philippines -0.23 -1.01 -1.68 -4.06 S.Korea -0.01 -1.93 -1.50 7.42 Singapore +0.01 -0.56 -0.54 2.14 Taiwan +0.18 +0.54 0.38 11.48 Thailand -0.10 -0.17 0.11 4.64 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesia rupiah steady, stocks fall after c.bank rate cut, GDP downgrade

Feb 18 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Indonesia cenbank also cuts lending facility rate * Do not see scope for another rate cut by BI going forward - analysts * SingTel shares drop on data breach By Anushka Trivedi Feb 18 The Indonesian rupiah was little changed while stocks declined after the country's central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points, as expected, and downgraded the economic growth outlook for 2021. Bank Indonesia (BI) slashed the benchmark rate to 3.50%, its sixth since the start of the pandemic, but saw "limited" room for any more cuts even as it acknowledged the weakness in policy transmission since loans have struggled to pick up. Rupiah was flat in the run up to the decision after weakening 0.7% over the past two sessions, while stocks fell 0.4%, retreating from a 0.9% jump in the morning trade. BI also trimmed the lending facility rate and relaxed some borrowing rules as it now forecasts slower economic growth in 2021 due to the harsh second wave of COVID-19 infections, but banked on vaccines to drive a rebound. "While a relatively stable currency in general helped BI to opt for a cut, it needs to be remembered that weak economic activity is the prime reason for Indonesia's healthy current account balance," said Kunal Kundu, an economist at Societe Generale. "Going forward, we do not see any further scope of rate cut by BI unless the COVID-19 situation worsens even further." The central bank signalled it would use other means to provide monetary help, including continuing to buy government bonds, which BNP Paribas' head of ASEAN Economics Arup Raha saw as vital if done in tandem with fiscal support. Indonesia financed its 2020 fiscal deficit and COVID-19 stimulus by raising debt, a good portion of which was bought by the central bank. Other currencies in the region eased as the dollar firmed on signs of a pickup in the U.S. economy. The Malaysian ringgit, the Thai baht and the Philippine peso all fell around 0.2%. Most Asian stocks were also downbeat, with the Straits Times Index slipping 0.5% after Singapore Telecommunications slumped on reporting a privacy breach, which led to data of some consumers being stolen. HIGHLIGHTS ** Indonesia c. bank says rupiah has room to strengthen, is fundamentally undervalued ** South Korea stocks slid 1.5% to a one-week low on continuing jump in coronavirus cases ** JGS Summit and Aboitiz Equity are top losers on the Philippine index Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0817 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.02 -2.45 -0.19 10.17 China -0.20 +0.89 0.55 5.82 India -0.01 +0.44 -0.74 7.98 Indonesia +0.00 +0.21 -0.44 3.70 Malaysia -0.15 -0.57 -0.64 -2.59 Philippines -0.23 -1.01 -1.68 -4.06 S.Korea -0.01 -1.93 -1.50 7.42 Singapore +0.01 -0.56 -0.54 2.14 Taiwan +0.18 +0.54 0.38 11.48 Thailand -0.10 -0.17 0.11 4.64 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesia rupiah flat, stocks jump ahead of cenbank rate decision

Feb 18 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Indonesia central bank announces rate decision later * S. Korea shares drop as virus cases climb * Singtel reports data breach, shares drop By Anushka Trivedi Feb 18 Indonesia's rupiah was little changed while shares rose on Thursday ahead of the country's central bank meeting where chances of an interest rate cut seemed to dim after rising U.S. yields this week dented the currency. Indonesia bonds were sold off heavily on Wednesday and the rupiah slipped, prompting several analysts to scale back bets of a 25 basis point interest rate cut as the central bank has prioritised currency stability in the past. The rupiah was steady at 14,010 per dollar after easing 0.6% in the previous session. Stocks jumped 0.9%, after falling the previous day as U.S. benchmark Treasury yields hit a one-year high. "The necessary condition has always been that there shouldn't be much turmoil in markets, hence, the probability of the cut does go down because of what has been happening," said Arup Raha, head of ASEAN Economics at BNP Paribas. "However, our official call is that there will be monetary accommodation from Bank Indonesia (BI) over the course of 2021 and this may be one of those meetings where they will cut." BI should continue to provide a backstop for the purchase of government bonds, he added, stressing on the need for monetary policy to work in tandem with government's fiscal support. Indonesia financed its 2020 fiscal deficit and COVID-19 stimulus by raising debt, a good portion of which was bought by the central bank. Other currencies in the region found some support in the dollar's mild losses in Asian trade. The Malaysian ringgit, Singapore dollar and the Philippine peso all rose around 0.1%. South Korea stocks slid 1.2% to a one-week low as daily coronavirus cases rose by another 621, unchanged from a day earlier when it marked the highest level in 39 days. China shares rallied up to 2% while the yuan ticked up on resuming trade after a week-long Lunar New year holiday. Singapore Telecommunications slumped 3% to weigh on the Straits Times Index after the telco reported a privacy breach, which led to data of some consumers being stolen. HIGHLIGHTS ** Philippine and Malaysia shares fell 1.1% and 0.2%, respectively ** JGS Summit and Aboitiz Equity are top losers on the Philippine index ** Top gainers on the Jakarta index: PT Mahaka Radio Integra Tbk, up 27% and PT Nusantara Inti Corpora Tbk , up 25% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0423 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.01 -2.46 -0.16 10.20 China +0.10 +1.20 0.39 5.65 India +0.00 +0.45 0.09 8.88 Indonesia +0.00 +0.21 0.44 4.62 Malaysia +0.02 -0.40 -0.19 -2.15 Philippines -0.03 -0.82 -1.33 -3.73 S.Korea +0.20 -1.73 -1.13 7.83 Singapore +0.02 -0.55 -0.41 2.27 Taiwan +1.69 +2.06 0.40 11.50 Thailand -0.10 -0.17 -0.02 4.50 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesia rupiah flat, stocks jump ahead of cenbank rate decision

Feb 17 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Indonesia central bank announces rate decision later * S. Korea shares drop as virus cases climb * Singtel reports data breach, shares drop By Anushka Trivedi Feb 18 Indonesia's rupiah was little changed while shares rose on Thursday ahead of the country's central bank meeting where chances of an interest rate cut seemed to dim after rising U.S. yields this week dented the currency. Indonesia bonds were sold off heavily on Wednesday and the rupiah slipped, prompting several analysts to scale back bets of a 25 basis point interest rate cut as the central bank has prioritised currency stability in the past. The rupiah was steady at 14,010 per dollar after easing 0.6% in the previous session. Stocks jumped 0.9%, after falling the previous day as U.S. benchmark Treasury yields hit a one-year high. "The necessary condition has always been that there shouldn't be much turmoil in markets, hence, the probability of the cut does go down because of what has been happening," said Arup Raha, head of ASEAN Economics at BNP Paribas. "However, our official call is that there will be monetary accommodation from Bank Indonesia (BI) over the course of 2021 and this may be one of those meetings where they will cut." BI should continue to provide a backstop for the purchase of government bonds, he added, stressing on the need for monetary policy to work in tandem with government's fiscal support. Indonesia financed its 2020 fiscal deficit and COVID-19 stimulus by raising debt, a good portion of which was bought by the central bank. Other currencies in the region found some support in the dollar's mild losses in Asian trade. The Malaysian ringgit, Singapore dollar and the Philippine peso all rose around 0.1%. South Korea stocks slid 1.2% to a one-week low as daily coronavirus cases rose by another 621, unchanged from a day earlier when it marked the highest level in 39 days. China shares rallied up to 2% while the yuan ticked up on resuming trade after a week-long Lunar New year holiday. Singapore Telecommunications slumped 3% to weigh on the Straits Times Index after the telco reported a privacy breach, which led to data of some consumers being stolen. HIGHLIGHTS ** Philippine and Malaysia shares fell 1.1% and 0.2%, respectively ** JGS Summit and Aboitiz Equity are top losers on the Philippine index ** Top gainers on the Jakarta index: PT Mahaka Radio Integra Tbk, up 27% and PT Nusantara Inti Corpora Tbk , up 25% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0423 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.01 -2.46 -0.16 10.20 China +0.10 +1.20 0.39 5.65 India +0.00 +0.45 0.09 8.88 Indonesia +0.00 +0.21 0.44 4.62 Malaysia +0.02 -0.40 -0.19 -2.15 Philippines -0.03 -0.82 -1.33 -3.73 S.Korea +0.20 -1.73 -1.13 7.83 Singapore +0.02 -0.55 -0.41 2.27 Taiwan +1.69 +2.06 0.40 11.50 Thailand -0.10 -0.17 -0.02 4.50 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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