July 7, 2020 / 5:25 AM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysia's ringgit, stocks await rate decision as Asia rally cools

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Malaysia central bank decision at 0700 GMT
    * Indonesia's rupiah gains after bond buying details
    * Philippine inflation picks up in June 

    By Nikhil Nainan
    July 7 (Reuters) - Malaysian currency markets inched higher
and stocks dipped on Tuesday as investors eyed the possibility
of another cut in interest rates in Southeast Asia's
third-largest economy while other regional markets cooled after
a surge a day earlier.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 has risen around 7% in just five days, fuelled
by a surge in Chinese shares on expectations of more government
moves to stir the stock market and tech sector investment.
    Chinese shares were up another 1.3% in morning trade
but with the exception of Thailand, playing catch-up after a
holiday on Monday, most of the region's emerging and developed
stock markets were flat to lower.
    A slender majority of analysts expect Malaysia's central
bank to provide another boost on Tuesday to the trade-reliant
economy struggling with the impact of the coronavirus. That
follows an aggressive half-point cut by the Philippines last
    "We are seeing signs of recovery, slow as it may be, it's
moving in the right direction. The challenge is sustaining the
pace of recovery amid lingering pandemic risks," said Julia Goh,
a senior Malaysia economist for UOB.
    Like a number of other analysts, her call is for a hold on
Tuesday. In total, seven of 12 bank analysts polled by Reuters
called for a cut, with five favouring a hold. 
    "Based on anecdotal feedback, business owners I have spoken
with said it will not spur them to expand, and individuals to
undertake any large commitments given the lingering
uncertainty," Goh added. 
    Still, Malaysian 10-year bond yields were
marginally lower. Recent weeks have seen moves by central banks
across the region to support growth.
    Indonesia, which cut rates for the third time this year in
June, laid out the details of a $40 billion bond-buying
programme on Monday aimed at healthcare and supporting
businesses hit by the coronavirus slowdown.

    The rupiah was up more than half a percent.
    In the Philippines, where COVID-19 infections are still
rising, inflation picked up faster than expected in June as
economic activity gradually resumed, but economists expect
consumption to remain sluggish in the second half.
    Both shares and the currency dipped.

    ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield down 0.5
basis points at 2.927%
    ** Top gainers on in Kuala Lumpur were Public Bank Bhd
, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Top
Glove Corp Bhd 
             Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0454 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX          FX       FX      INDEX    STOCKS     STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY %    YTD %
 Japan                    -0.01    +1.16            -0.65      -4.61
 China                    +0.08    -0.73            1.32       10.71
 India                    -0.06    -4.46            0.04       -11.51
 Indonesia                +0.71    -3.19            0.06       -20.76
 Malaysia                 +0.11    -4.25            -0.67      -1.41
 Philippines              -0.12    +2.55            -0.96      -19.81
 S.Korea                  +0.13    -3.17            -0.72      -1.16
 Singapore                +0.01    -3.41            -0.10      -16.63
 Taiwan                   +0.38    +2.26            -0.25      0.75
 Thailand                 +0.19    -3.70            1.34       -11.99
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Patrick Graham and Sam Holmes)
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