(Reuters) – Most Asian currencies were firmer on Monday as the dollar weakened broadly after disappointing wage data raised questions about the pace of U.S. interest rate increases next year.
November’s employment report showed U.S. non-farm payrolls rose by 228,000 jobs last month, better than expected, while average hourly earnings rose five cents or 0.2 percent.
Anaemic earnings growth is likely to keep the Fed wary about raising rates too fast, Mizuho bank said in a report.
The Philippine peso led regional gainers on Monday, rising more than quarter of a percent, bolstered by a rating upgrade by Fitch.
Fitch Ratings raised the Philippines’ sovereign credit rating, citing the nation’s strong economic performance and policies and pointing to no immediate impact on investment from President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs.
The Indian rupee edged up on the back on strong foreign inflows. While most regional equity markets witnessed foreign outflows, Indian equities have received inflows of about $150 million this month, exchange data showed.
China’s yuan inched up following a firmer midpoint rate, while the Malaysian ringgit and the South Korean won also advanced on the day.
Stephen Innes, head of Asian trading at currency broker Oanda, said he is most positive on the ringgit among Asian currencies.
“I am convinced that we are going towards a rate hike in January, which is a positive for the ringgit. I am also of the view, the government and the BNM are favouring a stronger currency.” Innes said.
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