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Asian currencies came under pressure on Monday due to persistent concerns over inflation and global economic growth, though Singapore’s dollar bucked the trend as the city-state released data showing the fastest rise in core inflation in a decade.

Thailand’s baht, India’s rupee and the Philippine peso weakened 0.1% each, while the Singapore dollar earlier strengthened as much as 0.4%, to hit a two-and-a-half week high against a broadly weak US dollar.

The dollar traded heavily against major currencies, following its first weekly loss in nearly two months, as investors cut bets on further dollar gains from rising US rates.

“Chatter of US recession risks and hence less pressure for the US Federal Reserve to tighten aggressively (have seen) rate hike bets and USD longs unwind,” said Christopher Wong, senior FX strategist at Maybank.

Wong added that relative stabilisation of the yuan , a pullback in US Treasury yields, China’s unexpectedly large borrowing rate cut for mortgages on Friday and signs of Shanghai reopening have aided sentiment in Asia.

The yuan, which recorded its biggest weekly jump since October 2020 last week, was up 0.1%. China’s rate cut was its second reduction this year as Beijing attempts to revive an ailing housing sector to prop up the economy.

Stocks in the region struggled for direction. Equities in Bangkok and Taipei were both up 0.5%, while those in Singapore and the Philippines traded in the red.

Singapore’s core inflation rate — the central bank’s favoured price measure - rose to 3.3% in April on a year-on-year basis, the highest since February 2012, driven by higher food prices.

Thai baht, stocks gain on GDP growth; yuan finds footing

A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 3.4% increase.

Meanwhile, both the Indonesian rupiah and stocks in Jakarta were marginally weaker ahead of Bank Indonesia’s policy meeting on Tuesday.

Economists in a Reuters poll predicted the Indonesian central bank will wait a few more months to raise rates from a record low despite rising inflation and aggressive tightening by the US Federal Reserve.

Nearly one-third of respondents, eight of 27, said the first rate rise would be in June, and the remaining 17 said it would come at one of the monthly meetings between July and September.

Highlights

** Singapore dollar hits highest since May 5 ** On Friday, Taiwan’s export orders fell for the first time in 25 months in April

** South Korea’s exports for the first 20 days of May jumped 24.1% year-on-year

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