July 17, 2020 / 5:31 AM / 22 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesian rupiah lags Asia FX; Thai baht hovers at six-week lows

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Uncertain monetary policy clouds outlook for rupiah
    * Philippine stocks down nearly 2%
    * Other Asian risk assets boosted by hopes of global
stimulus

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    July 17 (Reuters) - Indonesia's rupiah fell to a near
two-month low on Friday, a day after the central bank cut
interest rates for a fourth time this year, trailing other Asian
currencies that were supported by hopes of more stimulus to
shore up the battered global economy.
    With Indonesia also recording one of the highest COVID-19
death rates in east Asia outside China, stocks in the
country edged lower and the rupiah weakened 0.7% to
14,660 a dollar, on course for weekly declines of about 2%.
    Bank Indonesia cut its benchmark interest rate on Thursday
to 4.00%, as expected, but said further reductions would depend
on indicators such as inflation in Southeast Asia's largest
economy. It also did not mention if it had changed its full-year
outlook for gross domestic product.
    "While the burden sharing scheme could benefit Indonesia's
economy, there is fear that the central government wouldn't be
able to realise its planned spending," said Anthony Kevin, an
economist at Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia.
    "This is why market participants were also looking for clues
regarding the possibility of another rate cut."
    In Thailand, the baht hovered near six-week lows,
with investors growing concerned about the government's fiscal
response to the coronavirus crisis following the resignation of
finance chief Uttama Savanayana and two other ministers.
    "Some of the USD/THB selling in the last hour may be some
profit taking and potentially owing to the fact that this surge
in volatility could see increased scrutiny from the central
bank," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG Asia.
    Offering some relief, Thailand's central bank said on
Thursday it expected headline inflation to recover to 1%-3% in
the second quarter of 2021 after an expected minus 1.7% this
year.
    Stocks across Asia's developing and emerging markets clocked
modest gains, helped by a bounce back in U.S. stock futures as
hopes of more government spending helped counter worries about
the surge in global coronavirus cases.
    Philippine stocks, however underperformed, gripped by
fears of further economic pain from the pandemic as the country
reported its biggest daily spike in confirmed infections in more
than a week.
    The benchmark stock index was down nearly 2% and was set for
its second straight weekly decline.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 1.4 basis
points at 7.057%
    ** Top gainers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index
include Top Glove Corporation Bhd up 12.89% at 22.24
ringgit, Hartalega Holdings Bhd up 4.49% at 16.3
ringgit, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd up ​ 2.78% at 8.87
ringgit
    ** In the Philippines, top index decliners are SM Prime
Holdings Inc down 4.28% at 31.3 peso; Ayala Land Inc
 down 3.5% at 31.8 peso; Robinsons Land Corp
down 2.43% at 16.06 peso
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                       
 currencies at   0419 GMT                               
 COUNTRY   FX RIC          FX  FX YTD    INDEX  STOCKS   STOCKS
                      DAILY %       %            DAILY    YTD %
                                                     %  
 Japan                  +0.06   +1.32            -0.33    -4.06
 China     <CNY=CFXS    -0.16   -0.53            -0.51     4.71
           >                                            
 India                   0.00   -5.06             0.66   -11.16
 Indonesi               -0.68   -5.32            -0.12   -19.16
 a                                                      
 Malaysia               -0.02   -4.17             0.92    -0.06
 Philippi               +0.16   +2.45            -1.83   -22.77
 nes                                                    
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFTC    +0.04   -4.04             0.66     0.02
           >                                            
 Singapor               +0.07   -3.36             0.13   -18.48
 e                                                      
 Taiwan                 +0.36   +2.09             0.58     1.93
 Thailand               -0.03   -5.53             0.29   -14.44
 
    
    

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
Coghill)
  
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