July 31, 2020 / 8:14 AM / 4 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies eye strong July finish on dollar woes

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Singapore dollar set for best month since Jan. 2018
    * Indian rupee up 1% in July, eyes best showing in a year
    * Focus on Indian, Thai cenbank meetings next week

    By Rashmi Ashok
    July 31 (Reuters) - Asian currencies rose on Friday and were
set to end July with their best performance in months as the
dollar tumbled on worries a U.S. economic recovery was set to be
derailed by a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks.
    Several Asian markets were closed for the Eid al-Adha public
holiday although the currencies of South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand
and China, which were open, were all firmer.
    Despite a continued surge in coronavirus infections in
India, the rupee is also poised to end July with a near
1% gain - its best monthly performance in over a year.
    The Singapore dollar has advanced about 1.7% across
the month, narrowly beating gains from last December and putting
it on track for its best showing since January 2018. 
    "In the near term, the huge wave of global central bank
liquidity and an ample supply of dollars in the global financial
system will mean that short of a huge growth shock, the dollar
looks cyclically vulnerable," analysts at ANZ wrote in a note on
Thursday.
    "A higher liquidity world should favour... Asian currencies,
and this is where we think the next leg of dollar weakness may
show itself."
    The surge in coronavirus cases in a number of U.S. states in
the past fortnight has hurt global appetite for risk while also
weakening the greenback's traditional appeal as a safe haven at
times of stress, putting the dollar index on course for
its biggest monthly fall in 10 years.
    Taiwan's dollar and the South Korean won
, both heavy exporters and centres for tech that are
expected to benefit more than some economies from post-pandemic
reality, have been among the bigger gainers. 
    The Taiwan currency and the Thai baht both racked
up gains of 0.7% on Friday, while the won hit a four-month peak.
    Asian equities were largely subdued after a wobbly session
on Wall Street, as a coronavirus aid bill for jobless Americans
remained stalled in the U.S. Congress and data showed claims for
unemployment benefits continued to accelerate.
    Chinese stocks were the sole gainers after data
showed China's factories stepped up activity in July for a fifth
straight month as improving prospects for electrical and
pharmaceutical goods helped sustain a broader recovery.

    The yuan jumped 0.4% and was on track for its best month
since October.  
    Investors will look to July export data next week from
China, South Korea and Taiwan to gauge the state of global
demand. Manufacturing prints from a slew of countries are also
expected.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Nok
Airlines PCL down 14.29% and Starflex PCL
losing 12.9% 
    ** SETI index is down 0.33% at 1,311.34 and has
fallen 16.72% YTD
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields were down 3
basis points at 1.21%​​, while 3-year benchmark yield eased 0.5
basis point at 0.565%​​ 

  Asia stock indexes and                                      
 currencies at   0711 GMT                               
 COUNTRY      FX RIC         FX     FX    INDEX  STOCK  STOCKS
                          DAILY  YTD %               S   YTD %
                              %                  DAILY  
                                                     %  
 Japan                    +0.38  +4.11           -2.82   -8.23
 China                    +0.27  -0.39            0.73    8.55
 India                    +0.07  -4.55           -0.11   -8.86
 Philippines              +0.22  +3.30               -       -
 S.Korea                  +0.26  -2.93           -0.78    2.35
 Singapore                +0.12  -1.88               -       -
 Taiwan                   +0.75  +2.75           -0.46    5.57
 Thailand                 +0.77  -4.10           -0.33  -17.00
 

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick
Graham and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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