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EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesian stocks lag Asian peers as c.bank seen holding rates this week

Shashwat Awasthi
·3-min read

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Bank Indonesia expected to hold interest rates - Reuters poll * Singapore shares snap 5-day losing run By Shashwat Awasthi Sept 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia's stocks eased on Tuesday after two days of gains as investors braced for a central bank rate decision later this week, underperforming other emerging Asian markets supported by upbeat Chinese data. Jakarta's stock market was the biggest daily loser, falling 1.3% ahead of Thursday's monetary policy meeting, with analysts in a Reuters poll betting the central bank would hold off further lowering interest rates to avoid putting additional pressure on the rupiah. The rupiah firmed slightly on the day, while Taiwan's dollar led gains among regional currencies against a subdued U.S. dollar. The yuan hit a 16-month high on data showing China's industrial output accelerated the most in eight months in August and retail sales grew for the first time this year. The data supported markets in Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand at the start of a full week, which will also see meetings from the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan. Philippine shares fell after the country reported a record number of COVID-19 deaths for the second time in three days, calling into question its decision to relax social distancing rules. But the shares later recouped losses to trade higher on the day. Bank Indonesia has had to intervene to stabilise the currency multiple times this month as foreign investors worried about the central bank's independence, rising coronavirus cases, debt and economic growth. Indonesia also reported on Tuesday a worse-than-expected contraction of imports and exports in August, with analysts at ING saying that slowing economic activity was capping demand for capital goods and raw materials. The dollar has been sold heavily against other major currencies in recent months and data on speculative positions show global investors are net "long" emerging currencies against the greenback after the Fed said it would target average inflation, giving it more flexibility to spur growth.. In Singapore, the FTSE Strait Times Index advanced 0.6%. Jeffrey Halley, a strategist with trading platform OANDA, attributed the move to sentiment around China's Tencent choosing the city-state as its Asia hub. "With unemployment at record highs by Singapore standards, this will be seen as a welcome shot of confidence in the local market," he said. HIGHLIGHTS ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are up 27.9 basis points at 4.971% ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Destinasi Tirta Nusantara down 6.99%, Intan Baruprana Finance down 6.92% and Sunson Textile Manufacturer down 6.87% ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Genting Singapore up 2.24%, Mapletree Industrial Trust up 2.22% and Thai Beverage up ​1.68% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0409 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.04 +2.77 -0.63 -1.04 China +0.32 +2.59 0.28 7.80 India +0.00 -2.85 0.47 -5.55 Indonesia +0.13 -6.47 -1.14 -19.00 Malaysia +0.27 -1.04 0.68 -4.23 Philippines +0.04 +4.63 -0.26 -23.47 S.Korea +0.24 -2.06 0.48 11.01 Singapore +0.24 -1.22 0.64 -22.48 Taiwan +0.88 +3.00 0.35 6.97 Thailand +0.35 -4.17 0.27 -19.24 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)