March 22, 2018, 8:05 am
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Peso steady; others down

The South Korean won staggered on Friday and headed for its third week of lossses on renewed North Korean fears, while the Indian rupee fell to a 5-month low on concerns the government may need to borrow more to boost growth.

The won slipped for a second straight session to its lowest in a month, while most other emerging Asian currencies were mixed.

“We’re too used to the North bluffing.” said Jonghyun Kim, an FX trader at Kookmin Bank.

“Nuclear weapon is NK’s only bargaining chip right now. They want the image that they are at par with the US, military-wise. The won will be affected by the headline yes, but we need more than that.” he added.

Among other Asian currencies, the Indonesian rupiah hit over two-week low, while the peso appreciated as much as 0.4 percent and was on track to post gains on the week.

As expected, the Philippine central bank held its key interest rate steady on Thursday, predicting inflation will remain within its comfort range this year and next.

On the same day, Taiwan’s central bank left its policy rate unchanged, saying inflation was expected to be mild against a backdrop of rising pressure on the trade and economic fronts. 

The Taiwan dollar rose to its highest in over two weeks on Friday before turning flat, and was on course for second week of lossses.

S&P Global Ratings said China’s deleveraging process will be much more gradual than expected in the next few years, a day after it downgraded the country’s sovereign credit rating.

Rupee hurdled above the 65 level and was on track for its biggest weekly fall since August 2015.

“The reaction is more to do with the Indian side of the news. The government is now in a situation where it might be borrowing more or spending to spur growth,” said Hiren Sharma, Founder And Managing Partner of Mumbai-based Portia Advisory Services.  - Reuters
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