Asian currencies fell on Thursday as commitments from Federal Reserve officials to keep hiking rates despite a tempering in inflation pushed up the dollar, while a worsening growth outlook for Singapore also weighed.
The Chinese yuan sank nearly 0.3%, while the Japanese yen lost 0.2%. Most other Asian currencies were trading negative, after logging some gains on Wednesday.
As of 2321 ET (0321 GMT), the U.S. dollar index rose 0.2% after logging a 1.1% loss on Wednesday.
Dollar index futures were up 0.2% after a similar band of losses.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said while Wednesday’s softer-than-expected U.S. inflation report was a positive sign, the central bank is set to keep tightening policy until its inflation target is met, Reuters reported.
This could see the target rate reach up to 4.4% by the year-end.
While Kashkari is considered to be the most hawkish Fed member, others also expect interest rates to keep rising, albeit at a slower pace.
Stock markets rallied after the report, with traders now pricing in a 50 basis-point hike by the Fed during its next meeting- lower than initial expectations of a 75-point hike.
In Asia, the Singapore dollar fell 0.1% after the island state narrowed its annual economic growth forecast to 3% to 4%, from 3% to 5%.
The country also revised its second-quarter GDP figure lower, citing increased headwinds from global economic weakness.
A bulk of these headwinds come from China, which is the largest trading partner of Singapore.
The mainland economy is struggling to recover from a series of COVID-19 lockdowns this year.
The Thai baht was flat after the central bank raised rates on Wednesday and kicked off a monetary tightening cycle.
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The baht has recovered steadily from lows hit this year, amid improving prospects for the Thai economy.
The central bank also signaled that a modest pace of rate hikes was needed to combat rampant inflation.
A dip in oil prices benefited Indonesia’s rupiah, which rose 0.5%. - Investing