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Asian currencies rise against dollar


China’s onshore yuan strengthened past 6.43 per dollar, while Taiwan dollar gained 0.6% to 27.74 per dollar

Asian currencies rose against the U.S. dollar on Monday, with the Indonesian rupiah leading gains, as weaker than expected U.S. jobs data pushed the greenback lower on expectations that interest rates would remain low for longer.

Data released on Friday showed U.S. job growth in April missed expectations by a large margin, quelling concerns that a pickup in consumer prices could force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates earlier than it has outlined. Higher rates typically boost the dollar by attracting savers. Indonesian rupiah added 0.8% to 14,160 against the dollar and was on track for its best session since Jan. 4, as the country’s recent economic output data indicated an economic recovery was likely, and foreign investors returned to its high-yielding debt.

Tentative signs of recovery in portfolio flows are setting in, supporting the recent USD-IDR dip. Month to date inflows into equities and sovereigns are at $71.4 million as of May 7, and $100.6 million as of May 6, respectively, analysts at Maybank wrote.

Outflows, dividend repatriation pressure and concerns about Bank Indonesia’s autonomy had seen the rupiah tumble this year, but it recently found favour among yield-seekers as the Federal Reserve asserted a dovish stance.

Benchmark 10-year bond yields in Indonesia dropped nearly 5 basis points to 6.394% as investor demand rose, with yields standing at their lowest since Feb. 18.

China’s onshore yuan strengthened past 6.43 per dollar for the first time since Feb. 10, building on Friday’s gains that came after robust trade data for April showed exports beating forecasts. Taiwan dollar gained 0.6% to 27.74 per dollar, its highest since May 20, 1997, taking support from data released late on Friday that showed its April exports climbed 38.7%, smashing expectations of a 26.9% rise in a Reuters poll.

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