Emerging Asian currencies traded in tight ranges against the dollar on Wednesday, as investors were reluctant to make big bets on the outcome of US-China trade talks.
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Washington was in the “final throes” of work on a deal that would defuse a 16-month trade war with Beijing, but reiterated US support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, a huge sore point with China.
“..the bigger risk is an augmented form of “bait and switch” with regards to US-China trade conflict, where investors seduced by a rapidly progressing ‘Phase-1’ trade deal are blind-sided by the escalating tech tensions between US and China,” analysts at Miuzho Bank said in a note.
China’ yuan was marginally higher, but gains were capped by weak industrial profit readings, suggesting business conditions in the world’s second-largest economy are continuing to deteriorate amid weak domestic demand and US tariff pressure.
Despite signs of progress from both sides on a trade deal, markets have been on edge amid a lack of concrete details on talks and clarity on other sticking points such as a rollback of existing tariffs imposed by US – sought by Beijing as part of the deal.
The Indonesian rupiah edged lower, while the Singapore dollar weakened 0.2 percent.
Indonesia’s Vice Finance Minister on Wednesday said GDP growth for Southeast Asia’s largest economy is now seen at 5.05 percent, compared to its previous estimate of 5.08 percent.
The Philippine peso depreciated as much as 0.2 percent, before erasing some losses, while the Indian rupee strengthened 0.11 percent.
The Thai baht , emerging Asia’s top performing currency so far this year, weakened slightly against the dollar on the day.
On Tuesday, the Thai government rolled out stimulus measures to inject more than 100 billion baht ($3.31 billion) into the economy, whose exports have come under pressure to global trade tensions and a strong baht.
“THB remains firm despite some sell off by foreign investors in bonds and equities in reaction to the announcement of fiscal stimulus program,” Mahesh Sethuraman, Deputy Head of Global Sales Trading at Saxo Capital Markets said. – Reuters