Emerging Markets – Indonesia, Philippine central banks hold rates while Thai stocks rise on day four

JAKARTA, Nov 16 (Reuters): Most emerging Asian markets rose and the yuan hit a five-month high on Tuesday as traders were encouraged by positive developments in talks between Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden.

Jinping and Biden opened the talks warmly and emphasized their responsibility to avoid conflict.

They are expected to discuss a number of issues, including tariffs on China imposed by former US President Donald Trump.

Thai stocks led the region to gain 0.5%, followed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan indices, each up 0.3%.

Additionally, “most Asian countries have started living with Covid by reopening borders to international travel, which in turn could show economic activity,” said Kelvin Wong, an analyst for CMC markets.

The Philippines have just started reopening schools after 20 months of pandemic closure, while Thailand opened its top tourist destinations to visitors from more than 45 countries starting November 1st.

Bangkok stocks rose for a fourth session, hitting their highest level in almost a month after the Thai government forecast higher growth in 2021 and further incentives are due to be rolled out.

The Jakarta benchmark was up 0.3% and was on track for its best price in a week as the Indonesian rupiah swung back and forth between positive and negative territory.

The unit lost 0.1% at 0710 GMT. Investors are now waiting for Bank Indonesia (BI) monetary policy meeting due Thursday, at which interest rates are expected to remain unchanged to support an economic recovery from the effects of Covid-19, according to a Reuters poll.

“Improved activity, inflation and the tightening of the US Federal Reserve policy are likely to push BI to normalize political attitudes from the second quarter of 2022,” said analysts from Goldman Sachs in a statement over the weekend.

Meanwhile, most regional currencies lost their early gains as the US dollar remained near its 16-month high even as the yuan hit a five-month high.

The Philippine peso fell the most, down 0.3%, followed by the South Korean won and the Malaysian ringgit, each down 0.1%.

The Central Bank of the Philippines is expected to hold interest rates on hold at its policy review meeting on Thursday, according to a separate Reuters poll. – Reuters

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