Most Asian currencies, stocks pull back as rate cut rally dissipates | Inquirer Business

Most Asian currencies, stocks pull back as rate cut rally dissipates

/ 01:52 PM January 03, 2024

Most Asian currencies and equities lost ground in a broad sell-off on Wednesday as optimism about imminent rate cuts faded ahead of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes later in the day and investors cut positions in riskier Asian assets.

MSCI’s emerging market currency index, which posted its steepest one-day drop since February 2023 on Tuesday, was down 0.2 percent.

The South Korean won slid 0.8 percent, while the Malaysian ringgit retreated 0.7 percent heading for its worst day since early November.


Asian currencies and equities were rallying near the end of the 2023, after an unexpectedly dovish shift from the U.S. Federal Reserve fueled bets that the rate hiking cycle was over with markets starting to anticipate rate cuts as early as March.


“I think the market is probably turning a bit more cautious over the Fed rate cut pricing given that some of this could have
been overdone,” Moh Siong Sim, FX strategist at Bank of Singapore said.

READ: Dollar edges higher as risk rally hits pause

Asian currencies have benefited from rate cuts expectations but as rate cuts pricing looks overdone and markets reassess the situation, the rate cuts pricing might support the dollar and work against Asian currencies, he added.

The U.S. dollar was hovering near a two-week high against its major peers on Wednesday while U.S. Treasury yields
popped to two-week highs overnight.

Consequently, regional equities dropped, with those in South Korea falling nearly 2 percent, after hitting a 19-month high
on Tuesday. Taiwanese stocks slid 1.8 percent while stocks in Singapore retreated 0.6 percent.

READ: Asian shares extend global sell-off, dollar holds gains


Markets now await the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting due later in the day for further clues on rate
cuts this year.

Inflation data from Thailand due on Thursday and from the Philippines on Friday are also on investor’s radar. Recent data
have shown an easing trend in inflation in Asian countries with annual inflation in Indonesia cooling more than expected in

The Indonesian rupiah was largely unchanged while equities were down 0.3 percent.

Although inflation has been cooling in most Asian countries, most Asian central banks are still on the restrictive side of
monetary policy setting with the Philippine central bank stating last month that policy would have to stay “sufficiently tight”
to bring inflation back to target.

“Asian central banks are likely not in a rush to cut rates and won’t be ahead of the Fed in cutting,” Alex Loo, macro
strategist at TD Securities said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

However, we suspect there is a gradual shift in tone after the Fed’s pivot in December with Asian central banks such as the
Bank of Korea dialing back their hawkish tone, he added.

TAGS: Asian currencies, interest rate cuts, Rally

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.