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EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysia's ringgit, stocks slip as investors eye oil release

·3-min read

* Ringgit set for worst day in two weeks * Most regional stocks mixed * IEA agrees to release more oil By Tejaswi Marthi April 4 (Reuters) - The Malaysian ringgit and stocks led losses among emerging Asian markets on Monday, despite a rise in oil prices as investors kept a watchful eye on the International Energy Agency's (IEA) plan to follow the United States in releasing oil reserves. The ringgit eased 0.2% and was on track for its worst session since March 22, while equities in Kuala Lumpur fell 0.3%. Other regional currencies such as the South Korean won and the Thai baht also fell slightly. The Philippines peso, however, rose 0.2%. The IEA agreed last week to release more oil, joining the largest-ever U.S. oil reserves release, to counter supply constraints from the Russia-Ukraine war, while a truce in Yemen could further ease supply disruption. "While the fall in crude oil prices has dragged the ringgit lower now, it is expected to further weaken against the dollar as we anticipate the U.S. Federal Reserve to hike interest rates by 50 basis points in the next few policy meetings," said Chang Wei Liang, macro strategist (FX and credit) at DBS Bank. Markets expect the Fed to strike hawkish tones at public events this week as a jump in short-dated Treasury bond yields and further inversion of the yield curve raised risks of a possible recession. The yield on Indonesia's 10-year bonds, among the highest in the region, was roughly unchanged at 6.745%, while yields on Singapore's benchmark bonds rose to 2.370%. Singapore's central bank is likely to tighten policy at its review this month, the third time in a row, as inflationary pressures intensify due to global supply-side disruptions and an easing of the city-state's border controls. Other regional central banks in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia had all left interest rates unchanged last month. Most equities in the region were mixed as investors placed cautious bets on the probability of more sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities accused Russian forces of war crimes near Kyiv, inviting more scrutiny and possible sanctions from the West against Russia over its invasion, which it calls a "special operation". Stocks in the Philippines were down 0.2%, though Thailand's SETI index and South Korean shares edged higher. Markets in China and Taiwan were closed for a holiday. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Malaysian ringgit leads losses among Asian FX ** IOI Corp, Public Bank and Top Glove Corp top losers on Malaysia index, down between 1.7% and 1.1% ** South Korea benchmark bond yield at 8-yr high Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0530 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan -0.13 -6.17 <.N2 0.06% -3.85% 25> India +0.18 -1.75 <.NS 2.09 3.95 EI> Indonesi +0.01 -0.79 <.JK -0.16 7.38 a SE> Malaysia -0.21 -1.26 <.KL -0.24 1.98 SE> Philippi +0.18 -0.85 <.PS -0.14 0.29 nes I> S.Korea 11> Singapor -0.05 -0.58 <.ST 0.15 9.62 e I> Thailand -0.09 -0.24 <.SE 0.06 2.70 TI> (Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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