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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian FX, stocks firm as investors await U.S. inflation data

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* Thai baht eases after cenbank holds rates * Malaysia Q4 GDP due on Feb 11 * Thai, Malaysia stocks dominate, up over 1% each By Savyata Mishra Feb 9 (Reuters) - The baht eased slightly after Bank of Thailand decided to keep interest rates unchanged to support the pandemic-battered economy, while most other Asian currencies firmed ahead of key U.S. inflation data. Investors are expected to scour U.S. inflation data out later this week for any clues on the pace of Fed's policy tightening. The baht pared early gains to end the day 0.12% weaker after the Bank of Thailand, as expected, left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low and said it will closely monitor the "highly volatile" baht movement. Bank of America securities analysts said in a note that the Thai central bank could find maintaining an accommodative monetary policy too "binding" as inflationary pressures build. Indonesia's rupiah firmed 0.24%, its sharpest gain since Jan 10, as it well outperformed its peers in the region. The country's finance minister said on Wednesday that fiscal stimulus should be tapered as the economy recovers from the pandemic, signalling authorities will stick with their fiscal consolidation plans. "While higher U.S. real yields will likely limit any USD weakness, we continue to think Asian currencies will remain relatively resilient compared to other G10 and EM currencies," Mitul Kotecha, a senior strategist with TD Securities said. The benchmark U.S. Treasury yield on the 10-year note reached 1.97%, its highest since Nov. 7, 2019, as investors await inflation data on Thursday. Meanwhile, South Korean shares rose about 1%, helped by a tech rally on Wall Street aiding risk appetite. Other Asian equities also climbed, tracking an upbeat finish on the Wall Street overnight. Thai stocks led gains, up 1.4%, its highest levels since Aug. 2019. Malaysia shares followed, advancing 1.3% after a Reuters poll showed the country's economy likely bounced back to growth in the final quarter of 2021, propelled by strong exports and private investments. Jakarta stocks were up 0.5% and while South Korea was 0.8% higher. Highlights: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 0.90 basis points at 6.51%​​ ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include TWZ Corporation PCL up 10%, Thai Capital Corporation PCL up 8.93%, Lalin Property PCL up ​5.56% ** Straits Times index up 0.3%; Capitaland Investment Ltd, Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust lead gains Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0849 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan +0.06 -0.34 <.N2 -1.1 -4.2 25> China EC> India -0.09 -0.64 <.NS 0.91 0.40 EI> Indonesi +0.21 -0.77 <.JK 0.47 3.65 a SE> Malaysia -0.02 -0.48 <.KL 1.04 -1.37 SE> Philippi +0.18 -0.68 <.PS 0.59 5.33 nes I> S.Korea 11> Singapor +0.10 +0.40 <.ST 0.37 9.31 e I> Taiwan +0.08 -0.45 <.TW 1.03 -0.37 II> Thailand +0.09 +1.52 <.SE 1.29 2.91 TI> (Reporting by Savyata Mishra and Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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