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Asia FX Slips After Strong Rally, Dollar Pinned at 1-Month Low By

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    By Ambar Warrick– Most Asian currencies fell on Thursday as investors locked in profits from a recent rally, while the dollar was pinned near one-month lows as markets bet on a less hawkish Federal Reserve. 

    was the worst performer for the day, down 0.7% after data showed the South Korean economy . 

    Asia’s fourth-largest economy grew only 0.3% in the September quarter amid slowing exports and rising inflation. The reading shows that the Bank of Korea may lack sufficient headroom to keep raising interest rates aggressively, which is bearish for the won. 

    The fell 0.5% as data showed sank for a third consecutive month in September. 

    But the yuan hit a two-week high on Wednesday on reports that the Chinese government intervened in foreign exchange markets to support the currency. The currency also bounced back from a 14-year low. 

    Still, the outlook for the yuan remains constrained by China’s economic struggles. A growing rift between local and international interest rates is expected to keep the currency pressured in the near-term. 

    Broader Asian currencies retreated from a recent rally. The fell 0.3%, while the shed 0.2%. Both currencies rebounded 0.7% from near record lows on Wednesday. 

    The recovered further against the dollar after the government was seen intervening for a second time in currency markets. Focus is now on an interest rate decision by the on Friday, where the lender is widely expected to maintain rates at ultra-low levels. 

    The rose 0.1%, as did . But both instruments hovered around their lowest levels since mid-September.

    Markets are betting that a slowdown in the U.S. economy will push the Federal Reserve into easing its pace of interest rate hikes- a notion that pulled down the dollar and also weighed on U.S. Treasury yields.

    Markets are still anticipating a by the Fed in November. But bets that the central bank will hike rates by a smaller 50 bps in December are growing.

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