Asian currencies fall on polls concern | Bangkok Post: business

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Asian currencies fall on polls concern

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SINGAPORE — Indonesia's rupiah led a second weekly decline in Asian currencies, spurred by concern slowing economic growth in China will damp demand for exports from the rest of the region. 

A gauge of Chinese manufacturing showed this week that factory output probably contracted for a fourth month in April, while the International Monetary Fund predicts the nation's expansion will slow to 7.5% in 2014 from 7.7% last year. Indonesia, Thailand and India are all facing national elections. In Indonesia, early results from a parliamentary vote this month showed no clear majority, increasing uncertainty on the outcome of the July presidential race.

"We've had some negative China headlines coming out," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist in Singapore at Mizuho Bank Ltd. "Asian currencies are struggling to hold on to the gains for the year. Some of the initial optimism about politics in the region has given way to concerns."

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