Asian FX posts gains

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    Most Asian currencies managed minor gains against the dollar on Friday, but investors refrained from big bets while awaiting developments in the Brexit drama and Sino-US trade talks as well as next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

    Economic data from many nations in all corners of the world have signaled slowing global growth, and the Federal Reserve is expected to cut rates again next week.

    Sentiment towards most Asian currencies has improved in the past two weeks, a Reuters poll showed, with many regional currencies set to post weekly gains against the dollar. But much of the improvement is rooted in belief there will be at least a partial resolution of the Sino-US trade war.

    The yuan was little changed on Friday, but on track for a third week of gains.

    The Korean won was weaker on Friday but is set to strengthen 0.6 percent against the dollar over the week – running its streak of winning weeks to four.

    Data on Thursday showed growth slowed more than expected in the third quarter, though exports – the most important driver – showed some signs of recovery.

    Singapore industrial production in September beat expectations, rising for the first time in five months. The local dollar was flat.

    The rupiah eked out gains against the dollar, a day after Indonesia’s central bank cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points. It was the fourth straight cut since July.

    The currency has strengthened 0.7 percent this week, more than erasing losses from last week, as investors hope Indonesia’s new cabinet will be able to push ahead major reforms.

    Some analysts see only one more cut in the near term , with HSBC saying Bank Indonesia should maintain a prudent monetary policy given the “fickle nature of portfolio flows.”

    BofA Merrill Lynch, in a note, said “monetary policy transmission remains a problem, despite the central bank continuing to describe the pass-through as ‘effective’.”

    The Thai baht strengthened 0.2 percent, the most in the region. – Reuters