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Asia FX bears hit record high on hawkish Fed, China growth worries: Reuters poll

Thursday, June 16, 2022
Asia FX bears hit record high on hawkish Fed, China growth worries: Reuters poll © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: South Korean won, Chinese yuan and Japanese yen notes are seen on U.S. 100 dollar notes in this file photo illustration shot December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji//Illustration/Files

By Shashwat Awasthi and Savyata Mishra

(Reuters) - Bearish bets on several Asian currencies hit a record high in the face of rising U.S. interest rates that supported the dollar, while repeated COVID-19 lockdowns threatened to disrupt economic recovery in China, a Reuters poll found on Thursday.

Short positions in the South Korean won, the Singapore dollar, the Malaysian ringgit, and the Philippine peso hit their highest on record, according to the fortnightly poll of 10 respondents.

The greenback was perched at a two-decade high this week, as red-hot U.S. inflation data increased the likelihood of more aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

On Wednesday, the Fed delivered a widely anticipated 75 basis point (bps) hike that markets deciphered as a proactive move to curb inflationary pressures, helping Asian currencies firm. The poll responses were collated before the Fed's decision.

"We expect investor sentiment to remain fickle and financial market conditions to stay choppy into 3Q22," Selena Ling, head of research and strategy at OCBC wrote in a note, adding, the scale of the Fed's hikes this year may be between 50 bps and 75 bps.

The Fed's rate decisions have often been a yardstick for local central banks to frame policy. However, given the lagging pace of economic recovery from COVID-19 in emerging Asia, the pace of hawkish policy among regional central banks may vary.

Further complicating matters is China's strict zero-COVID stance, which has led to major cities slipping in and out of lockdowns, raising concerns about a sputtering rebound in the world's second-largest economy.

"I see a high possibility that China will still endure repeated Omicron lockdowns this year unless it changes its COVID-zero policy," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA.

"China's growth outlook remains challenging to say the least, even more so if key export markets shift to slowing growth as tighter monetary policy bites."

Short positions in China's yuan hovered near an all-time high hit last month.

Elsewhere, bearish bets on Indonesia's rupiah were at their highest since April 2020. The currency sank to its lowest since October 2020 earlier this week.

Market participants were also downbeat on the Indian rupee that hit a record low on Monday, with short positions at a more than three-and-a-half year high.

India's wholesale prices recorded their fastest annual rise in more than 30 years, raising expectations for more rate hikes by the central bank, data showed this week.

The Asian currency positioning poll is focused on what analysts and fund managers believe are the current market positions in nine Asian emerging market currencies: the Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian rupiah, Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit and the Thai baht.

The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a scale of minus 3 to plus 3. A score of plus 3 indicates the market is significantly long U.S. dollars.

The figures include positions held through non-deliverable forwards (NDFs).

The survey findings are provided below (positions in U.S. dollar versus each currency):

DATE USD/C USD/ USD/S USD/I USD/ USD/ USD/ USD/ USD/T

NY KRW GD DR {{2074|TWD ININR MYR PHP HB

16-Jun-22 1.54 1.79 1.35 1.33 1.23 1.66 1.67 1.7 1.34

02-Jun-22 1.22 0.56 0.38 0.90 0.73 1.18 1.06 0.59 0.54

19-May-22 1.90 1.55 1.07 1.19 1.63 1.35 1.53 1.15 1.56

05-May-22 1.75 1.50 0.73 0.56 1.49 1.04 1.47 1.09 1.33

21-Apr-22 0.10 1.07 -0.17 -0.03 0.94 0.75 0.89 1.00 0.71

07-Apr-22 -0.41 0.99 -0.46 -0.05 0.81 0.63 0.32 0.53 0.31

24-Mar-22 -0.16 0.98 0.19 0.04 1.16 0.99 0.12 1.40 0.46

09-Mar-22 -0.85 1.22 0.8 0.49 0.97 1.1 0.05 0.89 -0.08

(Polling by Savyata Mishra; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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30-06-2022 05:44:45 (UTC+7)

EUR/USD

1.0445

+0.0006 (+0.05%)

Summary

↑ Buy

Moving Avg:

Buy (12)

Sell (0)

Indicators:

Buy (9)

Sell (0)

EUR/USD

1.0445

+0.0006 (+0.05%)

Summary

↑ Buy

Moving Avg:

Buy (12)

Sell (0)

Indicators:

Buy (9)

Sell (0)

GBP/USD

1.2124

-0.0001 (-0.01%)

Summary

Neutral

Moving Avg:

Buy (6)

Sell (6)

Indicators:

Buy (2)

Sell (4)

USD/JPY

136.57

-0.01 (-0.01%)

Summary

Neutral

Moving Avg:

Buy (9)

Sell (3)

Indicators:

Buy (4)

Sell (4)

AUD/USD

0.6880

-0.0001 (-0.01%)

Summary

Neutral

Moving Avg:

Buy (8)

Sell (4)

Indicators:

Buy (0)

Sell (7)

USD/CAD

1.2893

+0.0002 (+0.02%)

Summary

Neutral

Moving Avg:

Buy (0)

Sell (12)

Indicators:

Buy (5)

Sell (1)

EUR/JPY

142.64

+0.06 (+0.04%)

Summary

↑ Buy

Moving Avg:

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Indicators:

Buy (7)

Sell (1)

EUR/CHF

0.9974

+0.0003 (+0.04%)

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Gold Futures

1,818.90

+1.40 (+0.08%)

Summary

↑ Sell

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Silver Futures

20.733

-0.139 (-0.67%)

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↑ Sell

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Copper Futures

3.7763

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Sell

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Crude Oil WTI Futures

109.60

+0.07 (+0.06%)

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Brent Oil Futures

112.25

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Natural Gas Futures

6.439

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US Coffee C Futures

228.05

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Euro Stoxx 50

3,514.32

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Neutral

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S&P 500

3,818.83

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FTSE 100

7,312.32

-11.09 (-0.15%)

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21,996.89

-422.08 (-1.88%)

Summary

Neutral

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Indicators:

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US Small Cap 2000

1,713.32

-25.52 (-1.47%)

Summary

Neutral

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IBEX 35

8,188.00

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Moving Avg:

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BASF SE NA O.N.

41.580

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Bayer AG NA

57.62

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Allianz SE VNA O.N.

183.72

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Adidas AG

170.02

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5.813

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Siemens AG Class N

101.40

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Deutsche Bank AG

8.571

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Summary

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Moving Avg:

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Sell (3)

 EUR/USD1.0445↑ Buy
 GBP/USD1.2124Neutral
 USD/JPY136.57Neutral
 AUD/USD0.6880Neutral
 USD/CAD1.2893Neutral
 EUR/JPY142.64↑ Buy
 EUR/CHF0.9974↑ Buy
 Gold1,818.90↑ Sell
 Silver20.733↑ Sell
 Copper3.7763Sell
 Crude Oil WTI109.60↑ Sell
 Brent Oil112.25↑ Buy
 Natural Gas6.439↑ Buy
 US Coffee C228.05↑ Sell
 Euro Stoxx 503,514.32Neutral
 S&P 5003,818.83↑ Buy
 DAX13,003.35↑ Sell
 FTSE 1007,312.32Sell
 Hang Seng21,996.89Neutral
 Small Cap 20001,713.32Neutral
 IBEX 358,188.00↑ Buy
 BASF41.580↑ Sell
 Bayer57.62Neutral
 Allianz183.72Buy
 Adidas170.02↑ Sell
 Lufthansa5.813↑ Buy
 Siemens AG101.40↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG8.571Neutral
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