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Covid matters took centre stage in a mixed Asia-Pac session, as we await the release of U.S. jobs report today. The won underperformed, while the baht gained amid talk of a possible BoT intervention.
- CNH: Spot USD/CNH climbed to CNH6.3778 before paring gains. The yuan's reaction to China's Caixin Services PMI was muted at best. The survey showed that expansion in the services sector slowed slightly more than expected.
- KRW: The won traded on a softer footing, as South Korea's daily critical cases of Covid-19 hit another all-time high, while PM Kim unveiled tighter social distancing rules. Separately, Vice FinMin Lee noted that the gov't will take steps to curb excessive inflation expectations.
- IDR: Spot USD/IDR blipped higher and printed its best levels in three months, as Omicron worry sapped strength from the rupiah.
- MYR: Spot USD/MYR erased its initial gains, before ticking away from session lows as Malaysia detected its first domestic Omicron case. Liquidity across MYR crosses was limited owing to a holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan. Local FX, money and bond markets remained open, but Bursa Malaysia was shut and market activity was subdued.
- PHP: The Philippine peso started on a softer footing, after BSP Gov Diokno played down the threat posed by the Omicron variant but pledged to keep monetary policy settings accommodated. Spot USD/PHP relinquished gains later in the session.
- THB: Spot USD/THB rejected resistance from Oct 6 cycle high of THB33.990. The rate extended its pullback from there as Thailand's CPI data overshot expectations. BBG cited a Kasikorn analyst suggesting that the BoT likely intervened when the pair approached THB34.000.