The Philippine peso and South Korean won gained in Asia on speculation possible stimulus by Japan will spur inflows to higher-yielding assets. India’s rupee declined as regional stocks dropped for a third day.
Exports from Japan slid 10.3 percent in September from a year earlier, increasing the odds the central bank will ease monetary policy at its next review on Oct. 30. The Bank of Japan last expanded its asset-buying program by 10 trillion yen ($125 billion) on Sept. 19. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares fell 0.4 percent.
“Expectations of looser monetary policy in Japan are increasing risk appetite,” said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Singapore. “With the Hong Kong and Thailand markets shut for public holidays, trading is expected to be quiet today.”
The peso appreciated 0.2 percent to 41.318 per dollar at the close in Manila, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The won gained 0.1 percent to 1,102.97, China’s yuan rose 0.11 percent to 6.2480, while the rupee weakened 0.3 percent to 53.615. The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the region’s most-active currencies, was little changed, retreating from near the highest level in eight months.
The won touched a 13-month high as the outcome of Spanish regional elections boosted optimism Europe will be able to contain its debt crisis. The euro rose for the first time in three days yesterday as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party won 41 of the 75 seats in the regional assembly in Galicia, clearing one obstacle in the way of a financial bailout for Spain. The yen weakened past 80 against the dollar today for the first time in three months.
“The euro gaining after Spain’s regional elections, and the weakening of the yen, a typical safe asset, are supporting Asian currencies today including the won,” said Han Sung Min, a Seoul-based currency trader at Busan Bank.
Taiwan’s industrial output rose 3 percent in September from a year earlier, data showed today, compared with a 1.9 percent increase in August and the 6.5 percent increase forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The island’s dollar closed little changed at 29.328 against its U.S. counterpart after being up as much as 0.3 percent earlier.
Thai exports probably shrank for a fourth month in September, while South Korea’s economy grew 1.7 percent in the third quarter, the slowest pace in three years, separate Bloomberg News surveys showed before official data due this week.
The rupee fell on speculation importers stepped up purchases of the dollar to meet payments as the market will be shut tomorrow for a local holiday, according to Vikas Babu, a currency trader at Andhra Bank in Mumbai.
Elsewhere, Malaysia’s ringgit weakened 0.1 percent to 3.0544 per dollar. Indonesia’s rupiah dropped 0.1 percent to 9,616, while Vietnam’s dong was steady at 20,853. Financial markets in Hong Kong and Thailand are closed today for holidays.
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