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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine peso hits 11-week low ahead of c.bank meeting

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(.) * Peso at lowest since April 7 * Baht remains at 13-month low * Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E * Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4 By Soumyajit Saha June 24 (Reuters) - The Philippine peso slid to a near three-month low and led losses among emerging Asian currencies on Thursday ahead of a policy meeting of the country's central bank, which is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate at a record low. The peso weakened as much as 0.4% to its lowest level since April 7, while stocks in Manila traded slightly lower. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will likely stand pat on rates at 2%, a Reuters poll showed, to support an economic rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic and as a resurgence in infections in some parts of the country underscores a need for policy support. "We are seeing some anxiety as the PHP continues its sharp depreciation trend, tied to foreign selling in the local equity market," said Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist with Dutch bank ING. "Despite cases dipping recently in the Philippines, participants remain wary of the possible spread of the so-called Delta variant which could spark a renewed surge in cases." The Thai baht was rooted to its lowest level since May 2020, a day after the country's central bank left its interest rates unchanged at a record low and cut its 2021 economic growth forecast. Thai stocks dropped to their lowest level in nearly a month. "As activity recovers slowly, with the bulk of 'catch up' growth on rebounding tourism only likely in 2022 ... we expect Bank of Thailand to be one of the slowest central banks to hike policy rates," Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients. Providing minor respite was data that showed a bigger than expected surge in Thai exports for May as global demand improved. Elsewhere in the region, South Korean stocks hit a record high, boosted by technology heavyweights tracking overnight gains on the Nasdaq, while Taiwan stocks rose 0.5% to their highest level in over seven weeks. South Korea's won advanced 0.2%. The Bank of Korea said it expects upward inflationary pressure on both the demand and supply fronts amid the country's recovery from the pandemic, reinforcing views that it was shifting to a less accommodative monetary policy. Malaysia's ringgit and Indonesia's rupiah weakened slightly against the dollar, which hovered below an 11-week high, as traders weighed up mixed signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve on reining back monetary support. Indonesian shares fell for the second straight session amid surging COVID-19 infections. Financial hub Hong Kong has decided to ban flights from the country starting Friday. HIGHLIGHTS ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 1.5 basis points at 1.63%. ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is up 3.1 basis points at 1.559%. ** Losses among industrial stocks like Airports of Thailand and Delta Electronics Thailand hurt Thai benchmark Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0332 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY YTD % DAILY YTD % % % Japan -0.05 -6.98 0.16 5.38 China -0.08 +0.74 -0.13 2.55 India 0.00 -1.62 0.00 12.20 Indonesia -0.14 -2.84 -0.33 0.59 Malaysia -0.10 -3.44 -0.29 -4.12 Philippines -0.29 -1.72 -0.12 -3.21 S.Korea +0.15 -4.38 0.40 14.47 Singapore +0.01 -1.86 0.14 9.82 Taiwan +0.06 +1.76 0.19 17.90 Thailand -0.19 -6.02 -0.70 9.08 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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