Stocks and currencies in Asia's emerging markets were mostly down on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's renomination for a second term bolstered bets of a possibly quicker start to policy tightening in the United States.

The overnight news on Powell buffeted financial markets and kept the US dollar well supported as traders prepared for the imminent end to the large scale coronavirus-led emergency Fed bond-buying programme.

The Thai baht, one of the worst performing currencies in the region this year, fell 0.6% to hit a two-week low.

"The reason why a lot of Emerging Asia currencies have been weaker, specifically against the US dollar, is mostly due to hawkish US monetary policy expectations," said Daniel Dubrovsky, Strategist at IG.

Riskier assets in emerging markets have also come under selling pressure over recent sessions amid surging COVID-19 cases in Europe and renewed curbs, dousing investor hopes of a quicker economic recovery.

Stocks in Manila, however, outperformed to gain as much as 1.6%, recouping some of the previous week losses.

"Negative market sentiment across our Asian neighbours was mostly fuelled by growing concerns over tighter monetary policies in a bid to stem inflation," said Corenne Agravio, Senior Equity Analyst at Regina Capital Development Corp in Manila.

"However, the BSP has reaffirmed its stance on keeping rates steady, which buoyed investor sentiment," she said, referring to the Philippine central bank.

Shares in Taiwan, Indonesian and South Korea were down between 0.5% and 0.7%.

South Korea's benchmark index also pulled back a day after closing at a near three-week high.

A Reuters Poll found that the Bank of Korea (BOK) is expected to raise interest rates on Thursday and carry a tightening cycle into next year as it tries to curb rising inflation and soaring home prices.

Stocks in India extended losses, after falling nearly 2% a day earlier, as technology, financial, and energy firms slipped, while the surging COVID-19 cases in Europe added to the gloom.

Singapore's key inflation price gauge rose by the fastest pace in nearly three years in October, mainly driven by higher services and food inflation.

The city state's shares were down 0.1%, while its dollar also edged lower.


Comments are closed.