SINGAPORE: Most Asian currencies retreated on Thursday as a recent rally fuelled by hopes of an economic rebound ran out of steam and investors locked in profits, while dismal export readings pressured the Malaysian ringgit.
Asian currencies have rallied this week as the reopening of several global economies has reduced the allure of the greenback and encouraged investors to venture into risky assets.
“We have seen some signs of US and China discord again trickling in to warrant caution, although I do see this mostly as an excuse for the locking in of some gains by the market," Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia said.
Leading declines in the region, the Malaysian ringgit slipped 0.4%, marking its worst daily performance in more than a week.
Data earlier in the day showed the country's exports tumbled 23.8% in April from a year earlier, the steepest fall in a decade, as the COVID-19 pandemic badly disrupted the global supply chain.
The South Korean won was marginally lower, while the Singapore dollar and Philippine peso weakened 0.2% each.
The Chinese yuan eased slightly in onshore trade, pressured by renewed tensions between the world's two largest economies. The Indonesian rupiah eased 0.2% to 14,110 per dollar, erasing some of its stellar gains in the past two sessions driven by strong demand for its government bonds. The Thai baht weakened as much as 0.4% to 31.66 per dollar during the session on resuming trade after a holiday.