Updated March 11th, 2024 at 10:16 IST

Asian markets commence week on muted note; attention on US CPI

Traders are keenly awaiting the release of US consumer price inflation data late on Tuesday, amidst a relatively light data week.

Reported by: Business Desk
Stock market | Image:Pixabay
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Asian market news: Asian currencies and stocks kicked off the week with subdued movements, as investors sought insights into the inflation outlook while weighing a mixed jobs report from the United States, hinting at potential future rate cuts.

The monthly payrolls report from the US, released late on Friday, depicted an uptick in jobs growth but also revealed a two-year high in unemployment, fuelling speculation of a rate cut possibly in June.

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Traders are keenly awaiting the release of US consumer price inflation data late on Tuesday, amidst a relatively light data week. Currently, bets on a rate cut by the US Federal Reserve in June stand at 73 per cent, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

As of 0400 GMT, the Dollar index, which gauges the strength of the greenback against six major currencies, hovered around 102.7.

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In Asian markets, the Thai baht emerged as the biggest loser among emerging Asian currencies, depreciating approximately 0.2 per cent, while the Taiwan Dollar saw a marginal decline.

Other currencies such as the Singapore Dollar, Philippines Peso, and Malaysian Ringgit traded flat, with the Ringgit lingering not far from its 26-year low. The South Korean Won, however, stood out, recording a rise of about 0.4 per cent.

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Analysts from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp noted that external market factors would continue to influence Asian currencies, suggesting that if the outlook on the Fed persists and incoming US data supports it further, Asian currencies could continue to appreciate against the USD.

Meanwhile, China reported a rise in consumer prices for the first time in six months in February, amidst a prolonged property crisis weighing on consumer sentiment and demand. Analysts from DBS highlighted the importance of sustaining this growth trend over the coming months to demonstrate its stability.

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In the realm of Asian shares, stocks in Manila, Singapore, and South Korea dipped between 0.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent, while Kuala Lumpur witnessed a modest gain of 0.3 per cent. Taiwan equities, which had surged to multiple record highs last week on the back of enthusiasm in artificial intelligence stocks, experienced a slight retreat, slipping around 0.2 per cent.

Indonesian markets remained closed due to a public holiday.

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(With Reuters inputs.)

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Published March 11th, 2024 at 10:16 IST