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EMERGING MARKETS-Most Asian stocks, FX tepid on recession fears

·3-min read

* Philippine peso higher among weak Asia FX * Indonesia stocks plunge more than 3% * Yield on long-tenor bonds in Singapore falls 11.8 bps By Riya Sharma July 4 (Reuters) - The Philippine peso was steady on Monday, while most Asian currencies came under pressure against a firmer dollar as investors sought safe-haven assets amid fears of recession, which also pulled down stocks in the region. Bucking the sombre mood, the Philippine peso and Chinese yuan edged up 0.1% each. "The recent shift in tones of the Philippine central bank with the incoming governor saying he is not ruling out further interest rate hikes to combat above-target inflation could be one of the factors helping slow down the pace of peso losses," Maybank FX strategist Yanxi Tan said. The Philippine central bank may consider bigger interest rate hikes to support the peso, though will not be obliged to match policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve, incoming governor of the Southeast Asian country said last week. Stocks in Manila rose as much as 0.7%. From the United States to the euro zone, activity at factories slowed to levels last seen during the initial wave of the pandemic, pointing to the risk of an all-out global recession. "Weakening U.S. data may slow the pace of rate tightening by the Fed but growing fears of recession could continue to keep the USD supported on dips," Maybank GM Research analysts said in a research note, referring to the U.S. Federal Reserve. With the economy choked, demand for safe-haven assets favoured the U.S. dollar especially at the expense of trade- and export-driven Asian currencies, even as Fed rate-hike expectations soften. Stocks in Jakarta tumbled as much as 3.5%, set to mark their worst session since May 12. "Equities in Indonesia are plunging on the fact that Bank Indonesia (BI) is behind on the rate hike curve and has not provided any guidance for further tightening ahead," said Fakhrul Fulvian, an economist at Trimegah Securities. The market wants the BI to raise rates soon to catch up with inflation expectations as a failure to do so could risk destabilising financial markets, Fulvian added. Still, the rupiah recouped some losses after the country proposed raising palm oil export quotas last week. Yields on Singapore's 10-year bonds, seen as a safer bet in the region, fell 11.8 basis points to 2.805%, while the Singapore dollar was trading flat as it tends to outperform in a subdued risk environment. China's central bank said it has upgraded a currency swap facility with Hong Kong to a permanent agreement and expanded the size to 800 billion yuan ($119.40 billion) from 500 billion yuan. China's yuan edged up 0.1% while equities in Shanghai were up 0.5%. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Top losers in the Jakarta stock index include AirAsia Indonesia Tbk PT down 7%; Golden Flower Tbk PT down 6.98% and Mahaka Radio Integra Tbk PT down 6.98% ** Top losers in FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index include Dialog Group Bhd down 3.77% and IOI Corp Bhd down 2.56% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0812 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCK DAILY % YTD % DAILY S YTD % % Japan -0.11 -14.9 +0.84 -9.31 7 China +0.06 -5.12 +0.53 -6.44 India +0.04 -5.92 +0.10 -9.14 Indones -0.20 -4.78 -2.28 0.88 ia Malaysi -0.11 -5.60 -0.74 -8.19 a Philipp +0.05 -7.44 +0.30 -13.1 ines 8 S.Korea +0.02 -8.35 -0.22 -22.7 5 Singapo -0.01 -3.39 +0.78 -0.13 re Taiwan +0.03 -6.91 -0.88 -21.9 7 Thailan -0.18 -6.44 -0.44 -5.54 d (Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)