EMERGING MARKETS-Asian FX broadly weak in holiday-thinned trade, stocks mixed

By Harshita Swaminathan Dec 21 (Reuters) – The Indonesian rupiah was little changed on Wednesday even as the country announced a ban on bauxite exports, while other Asian currencies broadly weakened and equities remained mixed in holiday-thinned trading. The rupiah IDR= was last seen at about 15,595 to the dollar, while Thailand’s baht THB=TH was down 0.4% at 34.795 to the dollar. The Singapore dollar SGD= also dropped 0.2%. Indonesia’s president announced a ban on exports of bauxite, an ore of aluminum, as it sought to bolster domestic processing. It is a major supplier of the ore and China is a key buyer. In the past, the country had briefly banned exports of coal, palm oil, and nickel ore. The Indonesian central bank’s meeting is also on investors’ radar, with a Reuters poll projecting a 25 based points (bps) rate hike on Thursday. The bank, which raised rates by 50 bps each in the last three meetings, expects headline inflation for 2023 to moderate to around 3%. Other currencies in the region were subdued due to holiday-thinned volumes and a light calendar data for the day. “In light of ‘festive trading’, near term FX direction could take greater cues from JPY moves, technical, and risk sentiments, while thinner market liquidity may exacerbate some of these moves,” analysts at OCBC said. Japan’s yen JPY= eased 0.4%, after advancing as much as 4.6% on Tuesday, thanks to its central bank widening the band around its 10-year yield. In Malaysia, the ringgit MYR= weakened 0.2% and stocks .KLSE fell 0.3%, even after Malaysia’s prime minister late on Tuesday said the country’s economic growth this year will likely exceed forecasts of 6.5% to 7%. Equities in Asia, which made gains earlier in the day, traded mixed. China’s blue-chip CSI 300 Index .CSI300 was flat, while the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC was 0.2% lower. The Philippine .PSI and Indonesian .JKSE stock indexes rose 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively, while shares in South Korea .KS11 and India .NSEI slipped 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively. Wall Street overnight broke a four-session losing streak, which offered a floor for losses in Asian equities. Markets now await consumer confidence data from the United States, due tonight. N. “The greater focus may be on the US Core Personal Consumption Expenditures price index tomorrow… The data will be looked upon to reflect the pace at which pricing pressures moderate,” said Yeap Jun Rong, a market analyst at IG. HIGHLIGHTS: ** India imposes anti-dumping duty on stainless steel seamless tubes and pipe imports from China ** China reports no new COVID-19 deaths for Tuesday vs five deaths a day earlier Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0702 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan JPY= -0.35 -12.92 .N225 -0.68 -8.35 China CNY=CFXS -0.19 -8.88 .SSEC -0.23 -15.75 India INR=IN -0.02 -10.19 .NSEI – 0.43 5.48 Indonesia IDR= +0.03 -8.62 .JKSE 0.35 3.20 Malaysia MYR= -0.18 -6.17 .KLSE -0.26 -6.63 Philippines PHP= +0.04 -7.66 .PSI 0.68 -8.72 S.Korea KRW=KFTC +0.30 -7.54 .KS11 -0.19 -21.79 Singapore SGD= -0.24 -0.30 .STI -0.06 4.11 Taiwan TWD=TP +0.02 -9.84 .TWII 0.45 -21.87 Thailand THB=TH -0.36 -4.04 .SETI 0.17 -3.04 Graphic: World FX rates https:/ /tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E Asian stock markets https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4 (Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; editing by Uttaresh.V) ((Harshita.Swaminathan@thomsonreuters.com)) The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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