Asian shares rise, currencies drop ahead of U.S. jobs data

MOST Asian stock markets rose on Friday while currencies fell against a firmer U.S. dollar, as investors awaited the key U.S. non-farm payrolls report for further clues about the Federal Reserve policy after dovish signals from global central banks.

Equities in Jakarta advanced 0.7% to hit a more than one-month high and were on track for a 0.6% weekly rise.

Stocks in Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore advanced between 0.2% and 0.4%. Philippine stocks slipped 1% and Malaysian shares eased 0.1% to be the only outliers.

Market participants are now awaiting the U.S. non-farm payrolls report, due later in the day, to gauge the strength of the labour market.

"A positive result may trigger some U.S. dollar strength as markets price in more rate hikes and delayed rate cuts from the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee)," MUFG Bank analysts said in a note.

The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BoE) hiked their rates by 50 basis points each on Thursday.

The hikes came a day after the Fed delivered a 25-bp increase and Chair Jerome Powell said the "disinflationary" process in the world's largest economy had started.

"Market players viewed recent decisions of major central banks to be more dovish than expected," said Poon Panichpibool, a markets strategist at Krung Thai Bank, adding that a rebound in the U.S. dollar was weighing on Southeast Asia's currencies.

The dollar index was up 0.1% at 101.85, as of 0615 GMT, away from Wednesday's nine-month low of 100.80.

In forex markets, the South Korean won fell 0.7%, while Malaysia's ringgit declined 0.6% and was set to snap three straight weeks of gains.

The Indonesian rupiah and India's rupee eased 0.1% each. The rupiah was on track for a fourth straight weekly gain, while the rupee was set for a 0.9% slump for the week.

In Indonesia, investors are now awaiting the fourth-quarter gross domestic product due on Feb. 6.

A Reuters poll showed economic growth likely slowed in the last quarter as declining commodity and energy prices hit exports, and a widely expected global recession could accelerate the slowdown this year.

In India, the focus was on Adani group shares, which have lost $115 billion in market value this week after a U.S. short-seller report.

Separately, the country's central bank will hold its policy meeting next week. Analysts at Barclays expect the bank to deliver a final 25-bp rate hike and shift to a neutral stance.


** The Philippines will launch next week an offer of peso-denominated retail bonds due 2028, seeking to raise $556.79 million initially at a rate-setting auction on Feb. 7

** China's services activity in January expanded for the first time in five months as spending and travel got a boost from the lifting of stringent COVID-19 curbs, a private sector survey showed

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields down 5 basis points at 6.579% The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0557 GMT. - Reuters

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Asian , MSCI , ringgit , Federal Reserve


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