March 17, 2023 05:52 GMT
Firmer, But Some SEA Currencies Outperforming NEA
USD/Asia pairs are lower across the board. The firmer equity backdrop, weaker USD, particularly against high beta AUD and NZD, have been clear supports. Relative to recent ranges we have seen some outperformance from currencies in SEA, such as PHP and THB. USD/CNH and USD/KRW remain above lows from earlier in the week. Looking ahead, Monday sees the China 1yr and 5yr LPRs, although no change is expected. Taiwan export orders are out, along with Malaysian trade figures as well.
- USD/CNH is down around 0.40% for the session so far, last near 6.8700, slightly up from session lows sub 6.8600. CNH bulls will target lows from earlier int he week near 6.8300. Onshore equities have rebounded, albeit are down from intra-day highs, while north bound stock connect flows are tracking for the best inflow day since end Jan.
- 1 month USD/KRW hasn't seen much downside. The pair last tracked near 1300, still above earlier lows from the week around the 1293/94 region. Onshore equities are higher, with the Kospi +0.65%, but offshore investors haven't been buyers today (-$64mn). South Korea and Japan relations are on the improve, with yesterday's meeting between the two leaders likely to bring down trade barriers.
- USD/SGD is eyeing fresh lows towards 1.3400 (last near 1.3420). Export figures for Feb were mixed, but still generally showing a softer backdrop for external demand. The SGD NEER (per Goldman Sach estimates) slumped as global tightening expectations unwound late last week/early this week, but has been steadily improving since then. We were last near -0.90% from the top end of the band (we were -1.3% at the start of the week).
- USD/PHP is back to fresh lows going back to mid Feb. The pair was last around 54.50. This puts us under the simple 50-day MA, which is around the 54.84 level. Dips below this support point have not been sustained over the past month. A sustained break sub this level will have the market targeting a move towards the 54.30/40 region. Incremental news flow has been positive for PHP today, with BSP Governor Medalla stating that Philippine Banks have no reported exposure to Credit Suisse.
- USD/THB is off by slightly more, last near 34.20, around 0.6% below closing levels from yesterday. Both currencies have been the best performers since the beginning of the week, although baht is +1.2% higher, more than double PHP gains (+0.60%). Less exposure to global banking turmoil and a likely slowing in global tightening are benefits for both currencies.