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The Singapore dollar fell on Friday after its central bank unexpectedly left its monetary policy settings unchanged, joining other regional central banks in pausing tightening, after economic growth missed estimates.

The Singapore dollar weakened 0.1% hitting its lowest since Feb. 9.

However, currencies across the region trended higher, with the Malaysian ringgit posting its fifth week of gains, as the US dollar tumbled to a one-year low.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore for the first time since April 2021 left its monetary policy unchanged, joining central banks in India, Canada, South Korea and Australia in putting hikes on hold as fresh concerns about global growth overshadow worries about persistently high inflation.

“We think that gyrations in SGD rates should be more muted going forward as the tightening cycle in Singapore and the US draws to a close,” analyst at DBS said in a note.

“Even if the Fed hikes by another 25 (basis points) in May, we doubt that there will be material passthrough unto SGD rates” The move reflected city-state’s concerns about its growth outlook and surprised economists who had expected another round of tightening.

Benchmark 10-year Singapore yields rose 2.5 basis points (bps) to 2.772% as the country’s economy grew slower than expected in the first quarter.

“Looking ahead, we expect economic activity to remain muted in the near-term,” Shivaan Tandon, emerging Asia economist at Capital Economics wrote in a note.

He also lowered his gross domestic product growth estimates for Singapore in 2023 to 0.5% from 1%.

The Indonesian rupiah led the gains among Southeast Asian currencies, climbing 0.6% and posting its best week since Jan. 13.

Asia FX climbs after cooler US inflation data

A Reuters poll found that Bank Indonesia is expected to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 5.75% on April 18 for a third consecutive meeting and for the rest of this year as it evaluates the impact of previous hikes on inflation.

In equity markets, Taipei shares led with a 0.8% gain, followed by shares in Singapore and Jakarta , up 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.

Highlights

** CVC mulling sale of stake in Malaysia’s QSR Brands after IPO delays

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 2.1 bps at 6.622%

** New year revelry returns to Thai streets as tourism rebounds

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