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Asian FX steady, shares inch up ahead of Fed meet; Thai cenbank holds rates



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Bank of Thailand holds interest rate

Indonesian stocks lowest since November 2023

Taiwan stocks hit highest level ever

U.S. CPI and Fed decision awaited

By Adwitiya Srivastava

June 12 (Reuters) -Emerging Asian currencies were steady on Wednesdayand equities notched modest gains ahead of keyU.S. inflation data and the Federal Reserve's rate decision, while the Bankof Thailand (BoT) left its key interest rate unchanged, as expected.

The Thai bahtTHB=TH and equities in Bangkok .SETI remained largely unchanged after the central bank held itsbenchmark interest rate steady forthe fourth consecutive meeting, defying public calls from the government to reduce borrowing costs.

Meanwhile, Thai courts will convene on a trio of politically charged cases next week, including one that could potentially lead to the prime minister's dismissal.

"Prolonged political turmoil could delay the budget for FY2025, which could affect Thailand's economic growth outlook as well," said Poon Panichpibool, a markets strategist at Krung Thai Bank.

If thatscenario materializes, it is possible that the BoT might have to provide some support to the economy via easing monetary policy with one-two rate cuts, he added.

Elsewhere, the South Korean won KRW=KFTC and the Malaysian ringgit MYR= inched up, while the Singaporean dollar SGD= and the Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS barely moved against the dollar.

Meanwhile, the Fed is expected tostand pat on its key interest rate later in the day, with traders pricingin a 52% chance of a cut in September, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

Investors are also awaiting the U.S. inflation report, due at 1830 GMT.

Asian central banks have been on a wait-and-see mode as sticky inflation and a U.S.tight labour market keep shifting expectations on when the Fed will cut rates and by how much.

"Asia FX could face volatility from a potential upward shift in the Fed's median dot plot, which could push U.S. yields and the dollar higher," analysts at MUFG said.

Stocks in Jakarta .JKSE fell as much as 0.5%, hittingtheir lowest level since mid-November, while the rupiah IDR= ticked 0.1% lower, flirting with thepsychologically crucial level of 16,300 per dollar.

Stocks in Kuala Lumpur .KLSE inched up 0.1%, while Taiwanese equities.TWII gained asmuch as 1.4% to scale theirall-time high level.

Financial markets in the Philippines were closed on Wednesday for a localholiday.


HIGHLIGHTS:

** Bank Indonesia to use all monetary instruments to stabilise rupiah

** Philippine c.bank wants inflation firmly settled near target midpoint

** Pakistan to unveil budget with eye to winning new IMF bailout


Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0705 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

-0.15

-10.32

.N225

-0.66

16.79

China

CNY=CFXS

+0.01

-2.15

.SSEC

0.34

2.13

India

INR=IN

+0.01

-0.42

.NSEI

0.68

7.78

Indonesia

IDR=

-0.06

-5.52

.JKSE

-0.35

-6.07

Malaysia

MYR=

+0.08

-2.61

.KLSE

0.13

10.93

Philippines

PHP=

-

-5.53

.PSI

-

-0.62

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

+0.16

-6.41

.KS11

0.84

2.75

Singapore

SGD=

+0.04

-2.45

.STI

0.12

2.25

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.07

-5.06

.TWII

1.18

22.97

Thailand

THB=TH

+0.03

-6.91

.SETI

0.04

-7.01





Reporting by Adwitiya Srivastava in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sonia Cheema

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