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Philippine peso hovers near 16-1/2-yr low, Indonesian rupiah steady

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The Indonesian rupiah held steady on

Thursday after the country’s central bank left interest rates at

a record low, while the Philippine peso hovered near its lowest

level in 16-1/2 years following a 25-basis-point rate hike.

The rupiah was 0.2% higher, clinging to its earlier

levels after Bank Indonesia (BI) acted as widely expected,

balancing the need to support economic growth while maintaining

stability in the currency.

The BI’s decision will put further pressure on the currency,

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said Fakhrul Fulvian, an economist at Trimegah Securities.

“Stability in IDR can only be achieved once BI clearly

states its intention to start the tightening cycle seriously,”

he said.

“Commodity windfall, rupiah’s relative outperformance as

well as a higher subsidy budget have provided room for the BI to

bide time and not join regional peers, for instance the

Philippines, in tightening policy reins,” said Radhika Rao,

senior economist at DBS Bank.

Meanwhile, the Philippine central bank turned more hawkish,

pledging to take “all necessary policy actions” to stamp down

inflation, which is running at a more than three-year high.

The peso dropped as much as 0.6% after the rate

decision, even as investors weighed the modest hike against a

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higher inflation forecast by the central bank.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) incoming Governor Felipe

Medalla had said he aimed to raise rates at a measured pace

beyond August.

“We continue to expect the BSP to tighten another 150bp in

this hiking cycle with a cumulative 100bp hikes this year and

50bp in Q1 2023 bringing the policy rate to a terminal rate of

4%,” Goldman Sachs analysts said.

Emerging Asian central banks have tried to keep pace with

the recent tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve, but have

fallen behind the curve as concerns around the economic pain

associated with aggressive rate hikes abound.

Among other regional currencies, the South Korean won

and the Thai baht slipped 0.3% each while

the Malaysian ringgit was flat.

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The Singaporean dollar weakened 0.3% after its

inflation reading came in at a more than 10-year high,

increasing the odds of a further inter-cycle tightening in

October.

“We note the risk of an earlier-than-expected inter-meeting

move, our base case remains for the Monetary Authority of

Singapore to further tighten FX policy in October with a 50bp

slope increase,” Barclays analysts said in a note.

The Indian rupee pared early gains to trade flat.

Global risk sentiment remained fragile after Fed chairman

Jerome Powell pledged full commitment to bring prices under

control, despite the risks of an economic downturn. Markets are

pricing in another 75-basis-point increase in July.

“Ahead, a series of purchasing managers index (PMI) readings

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from major economies will be on close watch to provide fresh

update on economic conditions,” Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist

at IG, said in a note.

Equity markets wobbled, with shares in Philippines

down 1.7%, Taiwan shares and South Korea losing

more than 1% each.

Jakarta shares reversed course to gain 0.2% after

the rate decision, while those of India and Singapore

rose 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Thailand’s inflation will remain elevated this year, but

should fall back into the central bank’s target range of 1% to

3% in the second quarter of next year, a bank official said on

Thursday.

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 5.7 basis

points at 7.437%​​.

** Singapore’s 10-year benchmark yield is down 4.7 basis

points at 2.98%.​​

Asia stock indexes and currencies

at 0815 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCK

DAILY YTD % DAILY % S YTD

% %

Japan +0.47 -15.1 0.08 -9.10

5

China

India +0.04 -5.14 -0.14 -11.3

1

Indonesia +0.20 -3.94 0.20 6.33

Malaysia -0.05 -5.47 -0.07 -8.77

Philippines -0.57 -6.73 -1.67 -14.8

5

S.Korea 8

Singapore -0.24 -2.96 0.21 -0.77

Taiwan +0.03 -7.02 -1.12 -16.7

0

Thailand -0.39 -5.88 0.12 -5.77

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry

Jacob-Phillips)

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Global monkeypox outbreak isn’t an international public health emergency ‘at present,’ WHO rules

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Non-work related loss of life

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NEW YORK, June 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mercer International Inc. (“Mercer” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: MERC) is deeply saddened to announce that an employee has passed away at its Rosenthal mill in Germany on June 25, 2022. Mercer and local authorities conducted an investigation and so far determined that the tragic loss was not work related. Mercer’s emergency procedures were immediately activated, local authorities were notified and industrial safety and occupational health personnel were involved for support.

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“We are saddened about the loss of life of one of our employees and our thoughts are with the individual’s family and colleagues,” stated Christian Soergel, Managing Director of Mercer Rosenthal. “Given the nature of the incident, we will be respecting the privacy of our employee’s family and will continue providing support to them and to all our affected employees.”

About Us

Mercer International Inc. is a global forest products company with operations in Germany, USA and Canada with a consolidated annual production capacity of 2.3 million tonnes of pulp, 550 million board feet of lumber, and 140 thousand cubic meters of CLT. To obtain further information on the company, please visit its website at www.mercerint.com.

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The preceding includes forward looking statements which involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause our actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “are optimistic that”, “projects”, “intends”, “designed”, “will”, “believes”, “estimates”, “may”, “could” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward‐looking statements. Among those factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are the following: the highly cyclical nature of our business, raw material costs, our level of indebtedness, competition, foreign exchange and interest rate fluctuations, our use of derivatives, expenditures for capital projects, environmental regulation and compliance, disruptions to our production, market conditions and other risk factors listed from time to time in our SEC reports.

APPROVED BY:

Jimmy S.H. Lee
Executive Chairman of the Board
(604) 684-1099

Juan Carlos Bueno
President & Chief Executive Officer
(604) 684-1099

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