for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

EMERGING MARKETS-Baht dips as Bank of Thailand worries over gains, Asia shares rise

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Thai central bank leaves rates unchanged 
    * Says to monitor baht, consider additional measures
    * Indonesia, Philippine central banks to meet on Thursday 

    By Nikhil Nainan
    Nov 18 (Reuters) - Thailand's baht dipped and shares
struggled on Wednesday as the country's central bank again
warned against an overly strong currency and said the economy
remained fragile, trailing gains elsewhere in Asia amid a
pullback on global stock markets.
    Stocks in Manila and Taiwan rose 1%, while 
Jakarta advanced half a percent, as investors banked on
the region's relative success in controlling the pandemic to
fuel its economic recovery. 
    Thailand's central bank left its key interest rate at a
record low of 0.5%, as expected, but said the recent rise of the
baht could hurt the recovery of the country's
tourism-and trade-reliant economy.
    The baht has gained around 3% on the dollar so far in
November, with the Bank of Thailand signalling it may take steps
to stem the rise. 
    Thai stocks, the region's worst performers so far
this year, on Wednesday erased earlier gains while the baht
dipped 0.2%. 
    "Although the economy has now passed the worst, interest
rates will need to remain low for a long time to support the
recovery," Gareth Leather, a senior Asia economist at Capital
Economics, said shortly after the decision.
    The "recovery will struggle to gain traction" given that
tourism is showing little sign of improvement, Leather added.
    Relief over COVID-19 vaccine developments over the last week
has been overshadowed by a surge in cases globally and fresh
social restrictions that threaten to wreck any immediate hopes
for a recovery. 
    Soft U.S. retail sales overnight highlighted the fragile
economic situation and sent Wall Street lower. 
    "Despite the slight pull-back in risk overnight, the market
still seem to lean risk-positive by default," OCBC Bank analysts
wrote in a note.
    Both the Philippine and Indonesian central banks have their
policy meetings on Thursday, where they are expected to keep
rates unchanged.
    The rupiah, a favourite among foreign investors
looking at Indonesia's high-yielding bond market, fell 0.2%.
    Bank Indonesia is slated to keep its benchmark seven-day
reserve repurchase rate steady at 4% on Thursday,
for a fourth straight meeting.
        
           Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0707 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.24    +4.51           -1.10    8.76
 China                    +0.18    +6.38           0.21     9.73
 India                    +0.26    -3.89           -0.22    5.57
 Indonesia                -0.21    -1.28           0.48     -11.80
 Malaysia                 +0.35    +0.04           -0.74    0.59
 Philippines              +0.17    +5.10           1.33     -9.77
 S.Korea                  +0.25    +4.77           0.26     15.83
 Singapore                +0.08    +0.21           0.19     -13.62
 Taiwan                   +1.10    +5.63           1.33     14.80
 Thailand                 -0.20    -0.99           -0.04    -14.60
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
Coghill and Anil D'Silva)
  
for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up