Most Asian currencies barely move; Indonesian rupiah biggest gainer

Most emerging Asian currencies moved only marginally on Friday, with many investors in wait-and-see mode before the G20 summit in Argentina on Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

With U.S. markets closed overnight for Thanksgiving and Japan on holiday on Friday, regional trading activity was muted.

Investors keenly await the meeting of the presidents of the United States and China on the sidelines of G20 in Buenos Aires, hoping it can de-escalate the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Mizuho Bank, in a note, warned against being too optimistic on a deal being reached in Argentina. It advised “caution over optimism” because what the U.S. is seeking requires “more concessions that Beijing can possibly concede”.

On Friday, the Indonesian rupiah topped gainers among regional currencies, appreciating as much as 0.5 percent to 14,510 to the dollar. It was on track to post a third successive weekly gain.

Indonesia has felt some relief from lower oil prices, as Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is a net importer of the commodity.

Oil prices resumed their fall on Friday, pressured by concerns that producers are churning out more supply than the world needs amid a far-from-rosy economic outlook.

However, oil markets were offered some support by an expectation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will start withholding supply in 2019 to rein in any glut.

The Philippine peso firmed as much as 0.3 percent to 52.280 against the dollar. The currency was on course for its eighth straight weekly advance, and the biggest gain in that streak, being up about 1.2 percent.

Aiding some currencies was a weaker reading for the dollar index that measures the greenback against six major peers. Much of the weakness stems from strength in the euro and sterling, which together constitute 70 percent of the index.

The Thai baht, Chinese yuan and the Singapore dollar all were marginally down while the Malaysian ringgit was flat.

Malaysia’s consumer price index rose 0.6 percent in October from a year earlier, matching a Reuters poll forecast and accelerating from the previous month’s 0.3 percent, government data showed on Friday.

Indian markets were closed on the day for a holiday.

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