Most Asian shares rise on Wall Street boost, currencies mixed


MOST emerging Asian stocks rose on Tuesday after Wall Street rallied overnight, with the benchmark index in Taiwan hitting a record closing high, while Thai equities rose after a crucial court decision to grant bail to a former prime minister.

Asian currencies struggled for direction against a slightly firmer greenback. Shares in Taipei rose 1.3% to an all-time closing high, while those in Seoul gained 0.7%.

Equities in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing rose between 0.1% and 0.3%.

Global investors are looking to a slew of speakers from the Federal Reserve and a key U.S. retail sales report for more clues on the Fed's rate-cutting trajectory, following its decision last week to hold rates and push the beginning of its rate-cut cycle to December.

This could mean Asian central banks will have to exercise discretion while easing their own policy stances.

Futures now point to roughly 45 basis points of Fed cuts for the rest of 2024. At 0655 GMT, the dollar index, which measures the strength of the greenback against six major rivals, rose a tad to 105.37.

Among emerging Asian currencies, the South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar were largely unmoved, while the Malaysian ringgit and Philippines peso inched slightly higher.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, the baht edged higher and stocks rose, after a criminal court granted bail to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Separately, a Constitutional Court set aside hearing dates for two cases involving the opposition Move Forward party and the incumbent prime minister Srettha Thavisin. Thailand's deputy finance minister said that the government will continue to introducing stimulus measures to boost the economy and investor confidence should return going forward.

Political turbulence in the Southeast Asian country has pressured financial markets in the recent past.

"These political developments and uncertainty have weighed on THB (baht) in the near-term, and (are) leading to continued weakness in Thai risk assets and equity markets," analysts from MUFG said in a note.

Markets in Indonesia were closed for a public holiday. The country's central bank is set to meet later this week to decide on its interest rates, in the wake of a depreciating rupiah.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** South Korea c.bank chief has eyes on easing FX volatility

** Shell to acquire Singaporean LNG firm Pavilion Energy from Temasek

** Malaysia, China to renew 5-year economic cooperation agreement - Reuters

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