Band Anushka Trivedi
December 29 (Reuters) – Most Asian stocks fell on Wednesday, pausing after a recent rally as investors took inspiration from a mixed overnight Wall Street session amid a lack of regional developments.
South Korean Technology Scholarship .KS11 followed by the weakness of the technology-rich Nasdaq .IXIC leading the decline with a 1% drop, followed by Malaysia .KSLE, Philippines .PSI and Jakarta actions .JKSE, all down after several days of gains.
A light data schedule for Asia this week, with only Chinese manufacturing data expected on Friday, will keep markets “at the mercy of headline volatility, a theme that dominated December,” said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at senior market, Asia-Pacific, OANDA.
Volatility is common in late December, as fund managers prepare to close their books for the year and the holidays reduce trading volumes in some major markets.
Asian currencies also faced pressure from the greenback’s strength on safe-haven flows as risk sentiment weakened slightly. FRX /
The Philippine Peso PHP = and the Indonesian rupee IDR = fell the most, down 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively, while the Malaysian ringgit MYR = MY and the Singapore dollar SGD = decreased by 0.1% each.
The rupee was planning its worst session in almost two weeks. The currency had gained around one percent over the past fortnight and appeared to be on a technical corrective path.
Meanwhile, the peso’s losses have risen to 1.4% since December 16, when a powerful typhoon hit the Philippines, displacing more than 400,000 people and causing widespread economic damage.
“We expect the peso’s underperformance this year to continue through the third quarter of 2022 … which is the result of the Philippines lagging behind in resuming immunization relative to the rest of Asia,” Bank of America analysts wrote in a note.
“Therefore, growth, inflation and the balance of payments could remain difficult in the new year, especially against a background of rising energy prices.”
Shanghai shares .SSEC slipped 0.7%, while the Chinese yuan CNY = CFXS traded flat as the city of Xian, with 13 million people, entered its seventh day of lockdown to fight a COVID-19 outbreak.
Malaysia’s benchmark fell 0.2% after rising 3.2% in the past five sessions. It is the only stock exchange in the region which should end the year in negative territory.
** The main losers in the Kuala Lumpur index are Sime Darby Plantation Bhd SIPL.KL and IOI Corp IOIB.KL, while Top Glove Corp TPGC.Kl earn the most
** Shenzhen China Stock Exchange and Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) have committed to cross-border linkage for exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields up 1.2 basis points to 6.366%
Asian Stock Indices and Currencies at 0501 GMT
% DAILY FX
CNY = CFXS
INR = IN
KRW = KFTC
TWD = TP
THB = TH
Chart: Global exchange rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)
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