Philippine PesoEMERGING MARKETS-Philippine peso hits 11-week low ahead of c.bank meeting

adminJuly 22, 2021
    * Peso at lowest since April 7
    * Baht remains at 13-month low
    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
    * Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

    By Soumyajit Saha
    June 24 (Reuters) - The Philippine peso slid to a near
three-month low and led losses among emerging Asian currencies
on Thursday ahead of a policy meeting of the country's central
bank, which is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate at
a record low.
    The peso weakened as much as 0.4% to its lowest level
since April 7, while stocks in Manila traded slightly
lower.
    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will likely stand pat on rates
at 2%, a Reuters poll showed, to support an economic rebound
after the COVID-19 pandemic and as a resurgence in infections in
some parts of the country underscores a need for policy support.

    "We are seeing some anxiety as the PHP continues its sharp
depreciation trend, tied to foreign selling in the local equity
market," said Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist with Dutch bank
ING.
    "Despite cases dipping recently in the Philippines,
participants remain wary of the possible spread of the so-called
Delta variant which could spark a renewed surge in cases."
    The Thai baht was rooted to its lowest level since
May 2020, a day after the country's central bank left its
interest rates unchanged at a record low and cut its 2021
economic growth forecast.
    Thai stocks dropped to their lowest level in nearly
a month.
    "As activity recovers slowly, with the bulk of 'catch up'
growth on rebounding tourism only likely in 2022 ... we expect
Bank of Thailand to be one of the slowest central banks to hike
policy rates," Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.
    Providing minor respite was data that showed a bigger than
expected surge in Thai exports for May as global demand
improved.
    
    
    Elsewhere in the region, South Korean stocks hit a
record high, boosted by technology heavyweights tracking
overnight gains on the Nasdaq, while Taiwan stocks
 rose 0.5% to their highest level in over seven weeks.
    South Korea's won advanced 0.2%. The Bank of
Korea said it expects upward inflationary pressure on both the
demand and supply fronts amid the country's recovery from the
pandemic, reinforcing views that it was shifting to a less
accommodative monetary policy.
    Malaysia's ringgit and Indonesia's rupiah
weakened slightly against the dollar, which hovered below an
11-week high, as traders weighed up mixed signals from the U.S.
Federal Reserve on reining back monetary support.
    Indonesian shares fell for the second straight
session amid surging COVID-19 infections. Financial hub Hong
Kong has decided to ban flights from the country starting
Friday.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 1.5
basis points at 1.63%.
    ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is up 3.1 basis
points at 1.559%.
    ** Losses among industrial stocks like Airports of Thailand
 and Delta Electronics Thailand hurt Thai
benchmark
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                        
 currencies at 0332 GMT                                   
 COUNTRY      FX RIC          FX     FX    INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                           DAILY  YTD %            DAILY   YTD %
                               %                       %  
 Japan                     -0.05  -6.98             0.16    5.38
 China                     -0.08  +0.74            -0.13    2.55
 India                      0.00  -1.62             0.00   12.20
 Indonesia                 -0.14  -2.84            -0.33    0.59
 Malaysia                  -0.10  -3.44            -0.29   -4.12
 Philippines               -0.29  -1.72            -0.12   -3.21
 S.Korea                   +0.15  -4.38             0.40   14.47
 Singapore                 +0.01  -1.86             0.14    9.82
 Taiwan                    +0.06  +1.76             0.19   17.90
 Thailand                  -0.19  -6.02            -0.70    9.08
    

    
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen
Coates)