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EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah steadies as Bank Indonesia holds fire, stocks recover on China data

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I
    * Singapore, Malaysian shares reverse course 
    * Indonesia c.bank keeps interest rates steady at 4.00% 
    * Thailand markets shut for a holiday

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    Oct 13 (Reuters) - The Indonesian rupiah held steady on
Tuesday after the central bank, as expected, kept interest rates
unchanged to support the currency's stability, while upbeat
Chinese trade figures helped stocks and currencies across the
region stage a late recovery.
    Bank Indonesia (BI) kept the benchmark interest rate at
4.00%, as it tries to avoid putting more pressure on a falling
rupiah, but reiterated its pledge to use quantitative
easing to support the coronavirus-hit economy.
    Stocks in Jakarta were up 0.8%. 
    "Clearly a deteriorating weak economy does not appear to
pose as much a challenge to the central bank as a potentially
weak currency and the concomitant impact on bond flows," said 
Kunal Kundu, India economist with Societe Generale.  
    "... It appears to be a chicken and egg situation. Unless
the confidence on the economy goes up adequately, bond flows may
not improve but unless the bond flows improve adequately to
support the currency, BI may continue to maintain status quo." 
    The rupiah, Asia's worst-hit currency this year, has been
under pressure on concerns over proposed changes to the central
bank act that could undermine BI's independence. 
    Singapore stocks reversed course to gain as much as
0.7%, while South Korean shares also trimmed losses to
close marginally lower.
    Sentiment improved after Chinese customs data showed  that
imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September, while
exports extended strong gains in a further boost to the world's
second-biggest economy.
    In Malaysia, where markets were largely on the edge awaiting
developments on opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's meeting with
the king, the ringgit edged down and stocks
reversed course to trade 0.5% higher. 
    Anwar said he submitted documents proving his parliamentary
support to form a new government and that Prime Minister
Muhyiddin Yassin should resign. He also said he had the support
of over 120 lawmakers in the 222-strong parliament.
    Malaysia's palace, however, said Anwar did not disclose to
the king the identities of lawmakers who he said are supporting
his bid to form a new government.
    "We will have to wait a while longer to find out if Anwar
Ibrahim really has enough numbers to topple the government,"
said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ. 
    "Markets do not seem to be reacting much to the latest
development...this may suggest that markets are not placing a
high probability to a change in government."
    Financial markets in Thailand were closed for a holiday. 
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down
1.2 basis points at 6.888%
    ** Top gainers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index
include Petronas Dagangan Bhd, up 2.67% at 20.02
ringgit, followed by Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd that
rose 2.18% to 7.49 ringgit
    ** Top gainers on the Jakarta stock index include
Bank Victoria International Tbk PT, up 31.94% at 95
rupiah, followed by Bank BRISyariah Tbk PT that jumped
25% to 1125 rupiah
    

  Asia stock indexes and                                       
 currencies at   0805 GMT                                
 COUNTRY   FX RIC            FX     FX     INDEX  STOCK  STOCKS
                          DAILY  YTD %                S   YTD %
                              %                   DAILY  
                                                      %  
 Japan                    -0.15  +2.99             0.18   -0.23
 China                    -0.03  +3.19             0.04   10.15
 India                    -0.12  -2.70             0.03   -1.93
 Indonesi                 +0.00  -5.45             0.78  -18.52
 a                                                       
 Malaysia                 -0.07  -1.35             0.45   -4.00
 Philippi                 +0.00  +4.26            -0.23  -24.21
 nes                                                     
 S.Korea                  -0.03  +0.81            -0.02    9.35
 Singapor                 -0.13  -1.06             0.28  -20.58
 e                                                       
 Taiwan                   -0.04  +4.10            -0.07    7.92
 
 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V)
  
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