Asia FX sinks as caution over Fed, CPI inflation, boosts dollar By


© Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick– Most Asian currencies fell on Monday, while the dollar rose as markets hunkered down ahead of highly awaited signals on U.S. monetary policy from a Federal Reserve meeting and a reading on U.S. consumer inflation.

Most regional units were also nursing losses from last week, amid growing concerns over a potential recession in 2023, which dented demand for risk-driven assets.

The and the fell 0.5% each – the most among their regional peers, while the shed 0.3%.

Optimism over the withdrawal of anti-COVID measures in China was largely offset by fears that a big jump in local infections will delay a broader reopening. Analysts also forecast increased market volatility in the country as it re-emerges from nearly three years of COVID lockdowns.

Still, a Chinese reopening stands to benefit the Asian economies that depend on the country as a trading partner.

The fell 0.2% as data showed in the country rose more than expected, heralding increased pressure on the economy in the coming months.

The yen has also benefited in recent weeks from speculation that high inflation will force the into eventually changing its ultra-loose stance on monetary policy.

The fell 0.3% ahead of that is expected to show that price pressures eased further in November. But the recently signaled that Indian inflation is expected to remain elevated in the near-term.

The dollar strengthened on Monday, as investors positioned for a potentially stronger-than-expected (CPI) reading on Tuesday. Data released last week showed that eased less than expected in November, heralding a similar trend in the CPI.

The and both rose 0.3%, and hovered near 105 points

A stronger-than-expected inflation reading could invite more hawkish signals from the , at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday.

While the central bank is to hike rates by a relatively smaller 50 basis points this week, stronger-than-expected inflation could push it into keeping rates higher for longer than expected.

Strong U.S. data for November ramped up concerns that inflation could remain sticky in the near-term. This invited warnings over a potential U.S. recession in 2023, which dented Asian currencies in recent sessions.

Rising U.S. interest rates were the biggest weight on Asian currencies this year, as the gap between risky and low-risk yields narrowed.


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