High oil prices hit some Asian currencies, others eke out gains

* Oil prices near 2019 highs
* Rupiah, rupee weaken for a second session
* Singapore March core inflation eases to 1.4 pct

(Adds text, updates prices)
By Shriya Ramakrishnan
April 23 (Reuters) - The currencies of Indonesia and India
fell on Tuesday, as the two countries face higher oil import
bills due to global energy market developments, while most other
regional ones eked out tiny gains.
Oil prices rallied after the United States on Monday
demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or
face sanctions, ending six months of waivers that allowed Iran's
eight biggest buyers to continue importing limited volumes.

The Indonesian rupiah and the Indian rupee
led declines in the region, weakening between 0.1 percent and
0.2 percent, respectively.
India's central bank will conduct its second dollar-rupee
swap auction of $5 billion on Tuesday, following a round last
month in a bid to boost liquidity and prevent a sharp
appreciation in the rupee.
In Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, market focus
will be on Thursday's central bank meeting, which is widely
expected to keep rates on hold. Some analysts expect multiple
rate cuts later this year.
The Malaysian ringgit was marginally higher, ahead of
March inflation data on Wednesday.
Malaysia's consumer prices are expected to edge up in March,
following two months of deflation, according to a Reuters poll.

The consumer price index turned negative in January for the
first time since November 2009 amid a sharp drop in retail fuel
costs. However, the central bank expects inflation to be higher
on average this year after benign cost pressures in 2018.
The Malaysian central bank and securities commission said on
Tuesday that the country's financial markets have remained
resilient with support from ample domestic liquidity and strong
fundamentals.
The joint statement followed one last week's from FTSE
Russell, a global bond index provider, that it could drop
Malaysia from the FTSE World Government Bond Index over concerns
about market accessibility and liquidity.
The Philippines suspended foreign exchange trading and a
treasury bond auction on Tuesday due to the impact of Monday's
6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit the main island of Luzon,
causing disruption in Manila and nearby provinces.
The Philippine peso was flat in light offshore
trading.

SINGAPORE INFLATION IN FOCUS
The Singapore dollar edged lower after data issued on
Tuesday showed that core inflation in March was below
expectations, easing to its lowest level in almost a year.

"Given the fact that the Monetary Authority of Singapore has
ended the tightening cycle, there is not a lot of expectations
for change in monetary policy in the near to midterm," said
Margaret Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.
Earlier this month, Singapore revised down its 2019 core
inflation and kept monetary settings unchanged after two
consecutive rounds of tightening as policymakers expect slower
growth and inflation in the city-state in the face of
'significant' global economic risks.


The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0554 GMT.
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR

Change on the day at 0554 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 111.900 111.93 +0.03
Sing dlr 1.356 1.3559 -0.02
Taiwan dlr 30.846 30.856 +0.03
Korean won 1141.800 1141.5 -0.03
Baht 31.890 31.86 -0.09
Peso 52.010 52.01 +0.00
Rupiah 14080.000 14070 -0.07
Rupee 69.788 69.67 -0.17
Ringgit 4.126 4.13 +0.10
Yuan 6.715 6.7122 -0.05

Change so far in 2019
Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move
Japan yen 111.900 109.56 -2.09
Sing dlr 1.356 1.3627 +0.48
Taiwan dlr 30.846 30.733 -0.37
Korean won 1141.800 1115.70 -2.29
Baht 31.890 32.55 +2.07
Peso 52.010 52.47 +0.88
Rupiah 14080.000 14375 +2.10
Rupee 69.788 69.77 -0.03
Ringgit 4.126 4.1300 +0.10
Yuan 6.715 6.8730 +2.35

(Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Borsuk)



First Published: 2019-04-23 03:40:57
Updated 2019-04-23 08:05:02


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