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Markets

Philippine stocks, peso rise as c.bank vows easy policy

  • The Thai baht, Indonesian rupiah and South Korean won lost between 0.1% and 0.3%
Published August 9, 2021

Philippine stocks and the peso gained on Monday after the country's central bank said it would keep monetary policy loose for longer, while Asia's emerging currencies weakened against a buoyant dollar.

The peso bucked the broader trend and gained 0.6%, while local stocks rose 1.4% to be the top gainer in the region after Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecast a strong economic recovery in the second-quarter.

Philippine policymakers will meet on Thursday to decide on key interest rates, while second-quarter economic data will be released on Tuesday.

Philippine stocks lead Asia higher on upbeat US data, currencies slip

Governor Benjamin Diokno said the central bank would stay accommodative for as long as needed to ensure a sustainable economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as the capital city Manila remains in lockdown.

However, some market views on growth prospects for the Philippines were less upbeat, with ING senior economic Nicholas Mapa expecting a quarter-on-quarter contraction.

"With the economy likely exiting then re-entering recession, we expect BSP to maintain monetary support for the balance of 2021 and well into 2022," he added.

Financial markets in Japan and Singapore were shut due to a holiday.

Meanwhile, the greenback strengthened after a strong US jobs report stoked bets that a reduction in asset purchases could start this year and higher interest rates could follow as soon as 2022.

The Thai baht, Indonesian rupiah and South Korean won lost between 0.1% and 0.3%.

Shares in China rose 1%, even as the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the country entered into a third week, and as the unpredictability of the country's regulatory crackdowns keep investors on edge.

Stocks in Kuala Lampur were up 0.4%.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Sunday said some COVID-19 restrictions would be relaxed for fully vaccinated people in eight states that have met criteria such as reduced case numbers and higher vaccination rates.

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