Most Asian currencies were rangebound on Tuesday, as investors took to the sidelines awaiting further clarity on an interim trade deal between the United States and China.
Markets were cautious ahead of a speech by US President Donald Trump to the Economic Club of New York later in the day for any new word on the Sino-US “phase one” trade pact.
The optimism around a possible resolution to the protracted trade dispute faded a bit after Trump said on the weekend there had been incorrect reporting about US willingness to lift tariffs on Chinese goods.
“With trade negotiations seemingly in a lull for the past few days, lacking concrete details or even a signing date, financial markets have moved into a cautious “wait and see” mode,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA.
The Chinese yuan edged up to 7.004 against the dollar. Data on Monday showed new bank loans in China fell more than expected to the lowest in 22 months in October, but the drop was likely due to seasonal factors.
Bank Indonesia (BI) on Monday said the country’s current economic data still allowed for an accommodative monetary policy, adding that the central bank will remain in the market to keep the rupiah stable.
In October, the central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the fourth time in four months, bringing the rate to 5.00 percent. BI is due to hold its monthly policy meet next week.
The rupiah was slightly firmer on Tuesday.
The Singapore dollar was flat even as data showed retail sales in the country fell 2.2 percent in September from a year earlier, the eighth straight month of decline.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian central bank extended the maximum tenor of repurchase agreements, or repos, to five years, as it looks to boost liquidity and avoid a downgrade by global index provider FTSE Russell.
FTSE Russel had placed Malaysian government bonds on its watchlist in April, with Morgan Stanley anticipating outflows of almost $8 billion if the instruments were downgraded.
The South Korean won was up 0.2 percent, while the Philippine peso inched lower. The Thai baht and the Taiwan dollar were little changed.
The Indian rupee was not trading as financial markets in the country were closed for a public holiday. – Reuters