Asia FX rebounds

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    Most Asian currencies traded in tight ranges on Monday as investors awaited clues on monetary policy from some of the world’s major central banks and sought clarity on Sino-US trade talks.

    Minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s October meeting are expected on Wednesday, while markets also await the first major speech by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on Friday.

    With the trade war clouding the global economic outlook, investors will be closely watching the two events for clues on possible central banks policy responses.

    “Markets are on the prowl for good news but exchange rates are likely to remain range-bound in the quiet week ahead,” DBS said in a note to clients.

    The South Korean won led gains among its peers and rose about 0.2 percent to the dollar, as Seoul and Washington agreed to postpone military drills to bolster peace in the peninsula with North Korea.

    Other Asian currencies, most of which fell last week amid uncertainty over trade talks, posted modest moves.

    The Indian rupee rose 0.13 percent to the dollar, having lost substantially over the past two weeks amid doubts over sustainable economic growth.

    The Chinese yuan softened 0.08 percent to the dollar, following a marginally stronger central bank mid-point fixing.

    The Thai baht was largely unchanged after data showed that Thailand’s third-quarter GDP slowed as expected. The country’s central bank also lowered its 2019 growth estimate due to a manufacturing slowdown and an export decline due to a robust baht, which is Asia’s best performing currency this year.

    The Singapore dollar traded flat after the country’s key exports shrank for an eighth straight month in October. The island state’s export-reliant economy has been hit particularly hard by the tariff exchange between the United States and China.

    “This morning’s weaker-than-expected Singapore non-oil domestic exports in October was a reminder that the global recovery ahead is still challenging,” DBS said. – Reuters