Chief Correspondent, Asian FX and money markets
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Sep 29, 2015

Malaysia faces another bond litmus test as contagion worries grow

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Foreign investors could pull up to another billion dollars out of embattled Malaysia’s bond markets this week, pushing the country a step closer to a currency reserves crisis that would send shudders across the region.

A widening political scandal and tumbling currency have steadily taken their toll on investor sentiment towards the Southeast Asian economy, unnerving its emerging Asian neighbors despite the central bank’s efforts to contain the damage.

Sep 16, 2015

Emerging markets face Fed meeting forewarned, inadequately armed

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Despite the long drum roll anticipating what could be the U.S. Federal Reserve’s first monetary tightening in years, the odds of the Fed lifting interest rates this week have lengthened so much that emerging markets could be hit hard if it happened.

Emerging market currencies have tumbled, equities have fallen and bond yields have risen steadily since the middle of the year, when Fed officials flagged the possibility that they could lift their near-zero rates in the second half for the first time in nine years.

Aug 30, 2015

China crisis covers tracks of Japan

SINGAPORE, Aug 30 (Reuters) – As China’s stock markets have
lurched wildly, seeding dramatic falls across the world, some
have drawn parallels with the global financial crisis of 2008 or
the Asian version a decade earlier. They are weak comparisons.

The abrupt end of Japan’s boom in the 1990s, complete with
stock crash and property bust, offers the most striking
similarities, and the most valuable lessons.

Aug 26, 2015

Currency volatility upsets Asian growth plans

SINGAPORE, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Faced with falling exports and
deflation risks, it suited much of Asia to let their currencies
drift lower, until China’s abrupt devaluation triggered a tide
of volatility that is upsetting not just their currency
management but also their growth strategies.

China’s 2 percent devaluation on Aug. 11 added to evidence
that its economy was struggling, and overseas it caused a ripple
of panic that a currency war was in the offing.

Jul 22, 2015

Singapore’s new savings bond comes with good intent, bad timing

SINGAPORE, July 22 (Reuters) – Singapore’s plan to launch a
savings bond to encourage long-term retail savings is unsettling
domestic banks and economists who fear this bond will push
interest rates up and suck cash out from an already anaemic

The new bond, which will begin selling in October, will have
a term of 10 years. It will offer the same yields as government
bonds or ten times the returns on bank deposits, and can be
redeemed without penalty at any point.

Jun 30, 2015

World’s markets brace for Wednesday’s leap second

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Financial markets around with world will open on Wednesday with a tinge of apprehension, not just because of developments in Greece or China, but because of an extra second.

A “leap second” is being added to the world’s clocks at midnight GMT on Tuesday, which could test the extremely sensitive trading systems of the modern algorithmic era, beginning with markets in Asia.

Jun 9, 2015

Falling yen raises spectre of ‘currency war’ in Asia

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – From South Korea to Indonesia and India, monetary authorities are preparing to let their currencies weaken as a falling Japanese yen makes their economies uncompetitive, and drags them into what some policymakers are calling a “currency war”.

The Indonesian rupiah, Malaysian ringgit, Thai baht and other currencies had been sliding gradually against a broadly strong U.S. dollar this year.

Jun 3, 2015

Pimco shifts focus to capital preservation, likes Aussie bonds

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bond fund manager Pimco has turned to Australian government bonds and short-term Japanese government debt as it looks not only for yield, but to protect its capital in an uncertain global fixed-income environment.

The U.S. fixed-income house, which until recently managed the world’s largest bond fund, has cut the duration of its portfolio by half in the past year, sought assets across geographies, and gone for bonds that will prove resilient if economic conditions deteriorate.

Apr 30, 2015

Growth, inflation fears spook Indonesian markets

JAKARTA/SINGAPORE, April 30 (Reuters) – In a nasty turn for
Indonesia’s markets, concerns over economic growth and inflation
have sent the stock market reeling to its lowest levels this
year, pushed bond yields higher and raised the risk of a sharp
dive in the currency.

The weakness is exposing Indonesia’s deep vulnerability to
flight of foreign capital as investors globally reassess their
dovish interpretations of U.S. Federal Reserve policy and
prepare for the day when cheap dollar funding becomes scarce.

Apr 21, 2015

Stocks firm after China stimulus, euro hit by Greek anxiety

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks were firm on Tuesday after China’s latest step to prop up its faltering economy lifted global equities, while the euro was pressured on growing worries a cash-strapped Greece may default on its debt.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.3 percent, with the dollar’s gains against some Asian currencies offsetting a rise in stock prices in local currency terms.

    • 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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