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EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah, ringgit gain amid muted Asian FX market, stocks continue rally

·3-min read

* Commodity prices boost rupiah, ringgit * Indonesian stocks hit record high * Taiwanese stocks eye best session in nearly 2 weeks By Harshita Swaminathan March 1 (Reuters) - Indonesia's rupiah and Malaysia's ringgit firmed on Tuesday, buoyed by higher energy and palm oil prices in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia's rouble also held steady after a steep plunge in the previous few sessions, after leaders from Russia and Ukraine held ceasefire talks, but did not reach an agreement. "The fact that both sides are talking is positive, but there hasn't been any resolution, and the conflict is ongoing. So I think markets are still taking a very cautious view about the current situation, and there's certainly no indication of risk getting put back on", said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ Banking Group (Singapore). The rupiah and ringgit saw gains of 0.1% each. Goh attributed the rise to surging prices of oil and natural gas, which Malaysia and Indonesia are exporters of. Palm oil prices, which hit a record high, also boosted the currencies. Oil prices have been on an upward trajectory since the Russia-Ukraine crisis began escalating, with Brent crude touching a seven-year high of $105.79 a barrel, but have since retreated below the $100 mark. Indonesian stocks also led gains among equities in the region, jumping as much as 1.6% to a record high, helped by energy and coal producers, catching up on Monday's broader market gains after returning from a market holiday. Data also showed the annual inflation rate in Indonesia was 2.06% in February, below market expectations. The baht, which added 0.1%, was also likely supported by Thailand's central bank saying that its economy likely improved in February. Other equity markets in the region also continued their upward movement as they rebounded from last week's steep selloff, with Philippine, Singaporean and Thai stocks rising between 0.7% and 0.9%. Stocks in Taiwan also climbed 1.4% in their best day in nearly two weeks, while Malaysian stocks were the only ones in losses, down about 0.4%. Late on Monday, data also showed the Indian economy's growth slowed in the December quarter, compared to the previous two quarters and failed to meet market expectations. Markets in India and South Korea were closed for public holidays. HIGHLIGHTS: Third top gainer among Indonesian stocks is Pradiksi Gunatama Tbk Pt, a palm oil producer, after palm oil prices hit record high Top loser among Malaysian stocks is CIMB Group, down 5.3% over writing off a $67 million provision Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0511 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY YTD % DAILY YTD % % % Japan -0.09 -0.01 <.N225 1.55 -6.44 > China -0.03 +0.69 <.SSEC 0.28 -4.61 > India 0.00 -1.34 <.NSEI 0.00 -3.23 > Indonesia +0.14 -0.66 <.JKSE 0.94 5.65 > Malaysia +0.07 -0.69 <.KLSE -0.35 2.24 > Philippines -0.06 -0.41 0.86 3.53 S.Korea 0.00 -1.12 <.KS11 0.00 -9.35 > Singapore -0.04 -0.46 0.85 4.68 Taiwan -0.11 -1.29 <.TWII 1.50 -1.66 > Thailand +0.09 +2.36 <.SETI 0.68 2.36 > (Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Kim Coghill)