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BANGKOK: Most Asian currencies strengthened on Friday against a broadly weaker U.S. dollar, with the Thai baht outperforming its peers at the end of a week in which trade was largely subdued by the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Philippine peso was an outlier, weakening 0.1% after data showed inflation eased in January from the previous month, prompting the country’s central bank to say it will remain patient on policy levers.

“PHP likely reacting to dovish statements from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor, Benjamin Diokno, after the inflation report,” Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING said.

However, its benchmark index rose 1%, outperforming most of its peers.

Otherwise, the baht led the way, firming 0.6% against a U.S. dollar whose index against other major currencies has dropped 2% this week - its biggest weekly fall since March 2020.

Other major Asian currencies made marginal gains, with the Singapore dollar and Malaysian ringgit firming 0.1% each.

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