WASHINGTON, Oct 10 ― A soft dollar supported China’s yuan and a swathe of emerging market currencies today after reports that Washington and Beijing may agree a partial trade deal, but investors were unsettled about the outcome of a crucial round of negotiations.
The yuan danced to the tune of clashing trade headlines, last trading up 0.2 per cent in offshore trading after Bloomberg reported a previously agreed currency pact could be part of a deal suspending further tariff hikes.
A handful of other media reports today signalled progress in trade talks, denting the US dollar and spurring a mini-rally in risk assets that took a hit from news yesterday that Washington had widened its trade blacklist to include some of China’s top artificial intelligence startups.
Trade officials from both sides were scheduled to meet in Washington today and tomorrow to try to end their bruising 15-month-old trade war.
“Markets have been factoring in a good deal of probability for a positive outcome,” said Jakob Christensen, head of EM research at Danske Bank.
Trade-sensitive Asian currencies such as the Korean won and Taiwanese dollar rose about 0.1 per cent, while the Russian rouble steadied and the South African rand gained 0.3 per cent.
The Turkish lira languished near four-month lows at 5.8806 per dollar after US senators outlined possible sanctions on Turkey, including targeting the US assets of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and imposing visa restrictions.
The currency broke past a key level of support at 5.85 per dollar yesterday after Turkey launched a military operation targeting Kurdish fighters in northeast Syrian.
“The lira could be vulnerable here, but the immediate impact compared to what we were looking at last year, where there were talks about really tightening sanctions, hitting Turkey’s ability to raise funds in international capital markets, this is more isolated to the military and the energy sectors,” said Danske’s Christensen.
In east Europe, the Czech crown slid against the euro after data showed inflation fell 0.6 per cent in September, its steepest decline since September 2006, likely taking some pressure off the central bank to continue tightening monetary policy.
Turkey’s main BIST 100 index hit one-month lows, dragged down by banks and energy companies. ― Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online