Chief Correspondent, Asian FX and money markets
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Jan 22, 2015

Asian shares near eight-week highs as ECB looms large

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares held near eight-week highs on Thursday as investors bet on the likely size and scope of a bond-buying program the European Central Bank is poised to unveil later in the day in an attempt to revive the flagging euro zone economy.

The euro was quieter ahead of the ECB decision after the previous day’s wide ranges, while the Canadian dollar stole the spotlight after plunging to a nearly six-year low following the Bank of Canada’s surprise move to slash its overnight rate to help cushion the economy from recently plunging oil prices.

Jan 20, 2015

Red lights blinking on Malaysia’s economic dashboard

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Tumbling oil prices are putting pressure on Malaysia’s commodity-driven economy, not merely by hurting its exports and currency but more so by putting an unwelcome spotlight on the huge debts that the country runs.

Malaysia, a major exporter of liquefied natural gas and oil, is suddenly faced with the risk that the cheapness of oil and other commodities will drive the current account into a deficit.

Jan 11, 2015

Oil-driven Asian bond rally could boomerang

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Plunging oil prices have sparked a big rally in Asian government bond markets as lower fuel costs cut inflation expectations, but the rally could be built on shallow foundations as monetary policymakers remain out of step with tumbling bond yields.

The price of oil, of which Asia is a net importer, has halved in less than six months, driving bond yields down across the region, from India to South Korea, as markets anticipate looser monetary policy to accommodate the resulting disinflation.

Nov 20, 2014

Aberdeen stays conservative in Asia, despite earnings slowdown

SINGAPORE, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Aberdeen Asset Management will
avoid riskier bets and stay conservative in its Asia picks
despite a drop in earnings growth at its portfolios and fund
outflows, the money manager’s Asia chief said on Thursday.

“Typically, a characteristic of our portfolios is that they
are pretty conservative. We tend not to play at the Alibaba end
of the spectrum,” Hugh Young, Aberdeen’s global head of equities
and managing director of its Asian business, told the Reuters
Global Investment Outlook Summit.

Nov 18, 2014

Banks chase trading cheats with ‘fuzzy’ surveillance

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Stung by billion-dollar fines for malpractice on their trading floors, the world’s big banks are using ‘fuzzy logic’ tools such as relationship mapping and behavioral analytics to read the minds of would-be cheats among their traders.

On Wednesday six global banks agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle claims they failed to stop traders from trying to rig foreign exchange markets, which came hot on the heels of similar fines for manipulating benchmark interest rates.

Sep 7, 2014

This time’s different as Asian markets warm up for Fed rate rises

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Faced once again with the prospect of rate rises in the United States, investors in Asia are no longer selling and running as in the past, choosing instead to stay in markets like India and South Korea, that are relatively sheltered from global forces.

The two bouts of market turmoil in May 2013 and January this year demonstrated the perils of selling out of markets prematurely and indiscriminately.

Aug 18, 2014

Indonesian markets show strains from fuel subsidies, deficits

SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) – It isn’t as worrisome as in
2013, and yet Indonesia’s currency and bond markets are showing
slight signs of investor anxiety over falling export revenues
and the government’s failure to raise prices of subsidised oil.

Prices of Indonesia’s high-yielding bonds have slipped,
investors appear to be buying protection in the currency
forwards, and the stock market has stalled since hitting record
highs after Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, or Jokowi as he is
known, won the presidential election last month.

Aug 18, 2014

Analysis: Promise of more keeps investors hooked on Asia’s frothy markets

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Calling the top in financial markets is never easy. Asian stock and bond markets may appear frothy at their near-record levels after a multi-year rally, but global investors are still betting on a mix of healthy returns and history to juice up their profits.

Six years since the global financial crisis spurred a relentless pursuit of yields, Asian stock markets are at record highs, bond yields have tumbled to pre-crisis lows and companies are raising huge amounts of cheap equity and debt.

Aug 18, 2014

Promise of more keeps investors hooked on Asia’s frothy markets

SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Calling the top in financial
markets is never easy. Asian stock and bond markets may appear
frothy at their near-record levels after a multi-year rally, but
global investors are still betting on a mix of healthy returns
and history to juice up their profits.

Six years since the global financial crisis spurred a
relentless pursuit of yields, Asian stock markets are at record
highs, bond yields have tumbled to pre-crisis lows and companies
are raising huge amounts of cheap equity and debt.

Jun 30, 2014

ANZ considers expanding physical commodity trading – source

SYDNEY/SINGAPORE, June 30 (Reuters) – Australia and New
Zealand Banking Group is considering expanding its
physical commodity trading business as it aims to step into the
gap left by the retreat of big Wall Street and European banks, a
bank source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Australia’s No.3 lender is set to put a proposal to launch a
physical commodities trading desk to its risk committee and
board in July, the source told Reuters.

    • About Vidya

      "Vidya Ranganathan joined Reuters in 1998, prior to which she worked in the dealing room of Societe Generale in Mumbai for 3 years, selling treasury products to customers. Of her 11 years at Reuters, the first 4 years were in Mumbai, where she wrote about the Indian rupee and economics and also worked with the fixed income association in developing some of the benchmarks for the swap market. Vidya moved to Singapore in 2002, and has since been regularly reporting and analyzing Asian non-deliverable forwards and currencies, inflation, interest rates and the whole range of emerging Asian economics."
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