BENGALURU: Asian currencies eked out modest gains on Wednesday while stocks were mixed as investors braced for a key US inflation reading that will likely influence the Federal Reserve’s policy path in the near term.

Leading gains in Asian currencies, the Malaysian ringgit rose 0.3% to touch its highest in nearly two months. It has gained about 0.8% against the US dollar so far this month.

Analysts at MUFG said investor sentiment towards Malaysian assets has “appeared to improve on the back of ebbing geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.”

Market participants now await first-quarter gross domestic product data due on Friday for further direction. A Reuters poll showed the Malaysian economy likely grew at its fastest annual pace in a year last quarter.

Meanwhile, a weaker dollar following mixed US producer price data provided some relief to investors in Asia. The dollar index was last down 0.1% at 104.941.

Investors were wary ahead of the April US core inflation data due later in the day. The report is expected to show CPI rose 0.3% month-on-month in April, down from a 0.4% growth the previous month, according to a Reuters poll.

Taiwan’s stock index,, which has been among the top gainers this year, surged to a record high of 21,308.320, supported by bullish investors. The index was last up 1.3%.

The Taiwanese dollar advanced 0.5%, posting its biggest intraday rise since April 12.

The Philippine peso added 0.4% after a seven-session slide, while the country’s benchmark stock index edged 0.7% lower, ahead of a central bank policy decision on Thursday.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is expected to maintain status quo on interest rates.


Comments are closed.