JAKARTA, Nov. 16 (Reuters): Most emerging Asian stock markets rose and the yuan hit a five-month high on Tuesday, with traders encouraged by the positive developments in talks between Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and the president American Joe Biden.
Jinping and Biden warmly opened talks and stressed their responsibility to avoid conflict.
They are expected to discuss a range of issues, including tariffs on China imposed by former US President Donald Trump.
Thai stocks led gains in the region, rising 0.5%, followed by indexes from the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan, gaining about 0.3% each.
Additionally, “most Asian countries started ‘living with Covid’ via reopening borders for international travel, which in turn could boast of economic activity,” said Kelvin Wong, analyst for CMC markets. .
The Philippines has just started reopening schools after 20 months of closures due to a pandemic, while Thailand opened its top tourist destinations to visitors from more than 45 countries from November 1.
Bangkok shares climbed for a fourth session to reach their highest level in nearly a month after the Thai government forecast higher growth for 2021, with more stimulus to be introduced.
Jakarta’s benchmark rose 0.3% and was on track for its best session in a week, while the Indonesian rupiah hovered between positive and negative territory.
The unit was down 0.1% at 7:10 a.m. GMT. Investors are now awaiting the Bank of Indonesia (BI) policy meeting scheduled for Thursday, where interest rates are expected to remain unchanged to foster an economic recovery from the fallout from Covid-19, according to a Reuters poll.
“Improving activity, inflation and tighter US Federal Reserve policy should push BI to normalize policy parameters, starting in the second quarter of 2022,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note this weekend.
Meanwhile, most regional currencies abandoned their early gains as the US dollar held close to a 16-month high, even as the yuan hit a five-month high.
The Philippine peso, down 0.3%, weakened the most, followed by the South Korean won and the Malaysian ringgit, both sinking around 0.1% each.
The Philippine central bank is expected to hold firm on interest rates when it meets Thursday for a policy review, according to a separate Reuters poll. – Reuters