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Asia, Forex

Asian markets lifted by improved risk appetite, U.S. dollar retreat

* Singapore leads gains in Southeast Asia * U.S. inflation rose more than expected in July * Malaysia releases GDP data on Friday Aug 13 (Reuters) – Asia’s currencies and stock markets rose on Thursday as investors took comfort after U.S. data dispelled concerns about deflation in the world’s largest economy, while a U.S. stalemate over further fiscal stimulus hit the U.S. dollar. The greenback fell against most of its peers amid fading hopes for a compromise between Republicans and Democrats over more economic stimulus. Taiwan’s dollar rose almost half a percent, outperforming other Asian currencies, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index led gains among regional stock markets. The cononavirus pandemic has continued to buffet financial markets, as investors balance tentative signs of global economic recovery and promising vaccine developments with second waves of outbreaks which have triggered fresh restrictions. U.S. data on Wednesday showing consumer prices rising more than expected in July also underpinned appetite for some riskier assets on Thursday. “Two big themes colluded to render the ‘risk on’ markets,” said Mizuho Bank in a research note. “First, outright optimism on several fronts of the pandemic… Second was the unexpectedly large upswing in U.S. inflation that appeared to have signs of demand recovery.” Thailand reopened following a holiday on Wednesday, with equities up 0.8% and the baht marginally higher. Kuala Lumpur stocks also gained strongly, rising 0.9%. Malaysia’s ringgit and South Korea’s won gained around 0.1% against the U.S. dollar. The greenback has been on the rise in August following months of declines, but it also fell on Thursday in tandem with U.S. Treasury yields after strong demand for a record $38 billion auction of 10-year notes. Malaysia will publish its second quarter gross domestic product numbers on Friday, and is expected to show a contraction for the first time in more than a decade. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Top gainers in Singapore include Genting Singapore Ltd , Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd and Sembcorp Industries Ltd ** Malaysia GDP likely fell 10% in April-June ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields down 1.9 basis points to 5.239% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0621 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan +0.26 +1.88 1.78 -1.72 China -0.04 +0.32 0.16 8.99 India +0.01 -4.60 0.36 -6.74 Indonesia -0.20 -5.67 0.10 -16.84 Malaysia +0.07 -2.36 0.85 -1.19 Philippines +0.20 +3.73 1.71 -21.98 S.Korea +0.08 -2.36 -0.29 10.36 Singapore +0.07 -1.95 1.33 -19.41 Taiwan +0.45 +2.37 0.73 6.38 Thailand +0.10 -3.61 0.75 -14.75 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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