* Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Economists expected Thai central bank to stay on hold * Thai central bank decision expected around 0700 GMT * Indonesia, Philippine central banks to meet on Thursday Nov 18 (Reuters) - The Thai baht inched lower on Wednesday ahead of a central bank meeting where rates are expected to be kept on hold but policymakers may voice concern over the currency's recent strength. Broader Asian stock markets, meanwhile, held onto modest gains despite a global pullback in equities. Stocks in Manila and Singapore rose around a third of a percent, while in Jakarta they rose 0.5% as investors bank on the region's relative success in controlling the pandemic to fuel a stronger economic recovery. Relief over coronavirus 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 signalled the fragile economic situation and sent Wall Street lower. "The market remains weighing the concerns between this vaccine optimism and the continued virus spread," said Jingyi Pan, a senior market strategist at IG in Singapore. Thailand's central bank is set to leave rates at a record low of 0.5% as GDP earlier this week showed signs that the worst may be over. Over November, Thai stocks have jumped over 13%, while the currency has gained around 3% on the dollar, leading some to question whether the baht's strength would hamper a recovery for the tourism-and trade-reliant economy. On Wednesday, the baht dipped 0.3% and stocks, the region's worst performer this year, rose 0.4%. "Recent baht strength has been a cause for concern," Mizuho said in a note, adding that the Bank of Thailand "may choose to send some signals about addressing baht concerns at this meeting." 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 7-day reserve repurchase rate steady at 4% on Thursday, for the fourth straight meeting. Philippine's central bank is also meeting on Thursday to decide rates. Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0416 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan +0.07 +4.33 -0.63 9.28 China +0.06 +6.25 0.47 10.02 India +0.00 -4.14 -0.11 5.68 Indonesia -0.21 -1.28 0.46 -11.82 Malaysia +0.15 -0.17 -0.51 0.83 Philippines +0.13 +5.07 0.39 -10.61 S.Korea +0.06 +4.57 0.33 15.92 Singapore +0.01 +0.14 0.28 -13.54 Taiwan +1.10 +5.63 1.00 14.44 Thailand -0.26 -1.06 0.40 -14.22 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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