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2018 in review

Emerging Asia challenged by slumping currencies throughout the year

Fed rate hikes and US-China trade war send value against greenback to new lows

The Indonesian rupiah was one of many Asian currencies that tumbled during the year, at one point hitting its lowest rate against the U.S. dollar in 20 years.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Emerging economies in Asia endured a challenging 2018 as currencies plummeted across the region. Several fell to historic lows against the U.S. dollar, battered by the Federal Reserve's rate hikes, the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing, and contagion from other emerging markets -- namely Turkey and its free-falling lira -- all of which have dented investor appetite for emerging market assets

Government as well as monetary authorities in Southeast Asia were left scrambling to come up with countermeasures for much of 2018.

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