Asian Currencies Set for Biggest Gains Since September

Thailand’s baht and Malaysia’s ringgit led Asian currency gains to the best week since September on speculation Japan’s monetary easing will increase the flow of funds into emerging-market assets.

The baht strengthened beyond 29 per dollar for the first time since 1997 and the ringgit appreciated for a fourth week, the longest run in 14 months. The risk of a nuclear test or missile launch by North Korea drove South Korea’s won to an eight-month low amid threats by the Communist state to attack the U.S. and its Asian neighbor. The Bank of Japan (8301) said April 4 it plans to buy 7.5 trillion yen ($75.4 billion) of bonds a month in the biggest move since its easing started in 2001.

“I expect the Bank of Japan’s plan to double its monetary base will lead to a pickup in inflows to emerging Asia,” said Khoon Goh, a Singapore-based senior strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) “Some of the outflows were likely due to concerns over tensions on the Korean peninsula.”


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