US Dollar Funding Stress in the ASEAN+3 Region

Amid the global fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, the market’s perennial nemesis—US dollar funding stress—has reared its ugly head once again and added to the turmoil. ASEAN+3 economies with greater economic exposure to China experienced greater tightening in US dollar liquidity in March, likely because of the latter’s role as a key node in the regional supply chain, which was severely disrupted when the country went into lockdown. The liquidity squeeze has since been alleviated by the US Federal Reserve’s commitment to inject more US dollars into the global financial system. However, it could resurface in the region as export earnings face further contractions with the COVID-19 spreading from East to West, where much of Asia’s exports are consumed.

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