Philippine one thousand- peso banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Manila, the Philippines (file). Peso and India's rupeeled declines in currency market last week. Bloomberg /Kuala Lumpur The Philippine peso and India's rupee led declines in Asian currencies last week as data fueled concern that some of the region's biggest economies are cooling. A gauge of China's services industries growth fell to a four-month low in December, an official report showed, after figures released January 1 signaled a manufacturing slowdown. A Purchasing Managers' Index for India compiled by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics fell to 50.7 last month from 51.3 in November, according to a report on January 2 . A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The peso slid 0.6% from December 27 to 44.648 per dollar in Manila , according to Tullett Prebon Plc . The rupee weakened 0.5% to 62.1550, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg . Thailand's baht dropped 0.4% to 32.970 and South Korea's won lost 0.1% to 1,055.23. "Growth will remain sluggish," said Ashtosh Raina , head of foreign-exchange trading at HDFC Bank Ltd in Mumbai . The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index was at 115.82, compared with 115.72 on December 27 . The gauge of 10 regional currencies excluding the Japanese yen fell 1.9% in 2013, the most since 2008. China's non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index slumped to 54.6 in December from 56 in November, the Beijing - based National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said. The manufacturing index declined to 51 from 51.4, the bureau said on January 1 . The baht traded near the lowest level since June 2010 as local stocks tumbled amid concern prolonged political unrest in the country will hurt the economy and deter investors. Caretaker Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said yesterday he's concerned about baht weakness. The Thai government cut its 2014 economic-growth forecast last week to 4% from 5.1% citing export declines and political instability. Anti-government protests that began in late October forced Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to dissolve parliament in December and call a snap election in February. "People are still held in suspense trying to figure out how this will resolve itself," said Leong Sook Mei , Southeast Asian head of global markets research in Singapore at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ . The baht may fall to 34 by June, she said. South Korea's won fell 0.5%, erasing the week's gain amid concern policy makers will intervene to shield exporters against the impact of a slide in Japan's currency. The government needs to aid companies because of the weak yen, Yonhap Infomax reported today, citing Finance Minister Hyun Oh Seok . The won strengthened 23% versus the yen in 2013, the most in Bloomberg data going back to 1986, following an increase of 22% in 2012. The won's advance against the yen hurts local exporters, which compete with Japanese companies in overseas markets. China's yuan gained for a second week, advancing 0.3% to 6.0515 per dollar.
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