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BENGALURU: Most emerging Asian currencies and stocks traded higher on Monday, as investors assessed remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that reaffirmed expectations that the US monetary tightening cycle has come to an end.

The Malaysian ringgit, the South Korean won and Indonesian rupiah added 0.3% each, by 0323 GMT. Taiwanese dollar led the pack, gaining 0.5%.

While stocks in Bangkok, Manila, and Seoul rose over 0.3%, each, those in Jakarta advanced nearly 1%, touching their highest level since October last year.

Risk appetite improved on expectations the next move by the Federal Reserve will be to cut rates, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Friday declining the opportunity to push back hard against aggressive market pricing.

All eyes will be on the November US jobs report on Wednesday that could influence the outlook for US interest rates.

The US dollar index, which tracks the currency against six major counterparts, was last hovering around Friday’s close at 103.28. The index lost over 3% of its value in November, helping emerging Asian assets regain some lost ground.

“While risk currencies may remain buoyed ahead of next week’s FOMC, “risk on” may not be unequivocally bold in shorting the USD either,” Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank wrote.

Thailand’s baht dipped 0.4%, and the Indian rupee traded largely flat.

Recent volatility in oil prices over the conflict in the Middle East and uncertainty over OPEC+ voluntary output cuts have dented confidence in net oil importing countries like India and Thailand.

Markets will be watching out for a slate of regional inflation data due later this week, with the Philippines on Tuesday, Taiwan on Wednesday, and Thailand on Thursday.

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