Most Asian FX slip, Thai baht weakens after hikes rate

* Bank of Thailand raises rate for first time in nearly 4 years

* Baht extends losses, Thai shares fall

* Malaysia shares fall ahead of GDP data on Friday

* Markets await U.S. inflation data

By Sameer Manekar and Archishma Iyer

Aug 10 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies were tepid on Wednesday, with the Thai baht weakening 0.5% after the country's central bank hiked its key policy rate by 25 basis points, kick-starting its monetary tightening cycle.

The Indonesian rupiah IDR= , Philippines peso PHP= , South Korea's won KRW=KFTC , and Singapore dollar SGD= down between 0.1% and 0.4% against the greenback. India's rupee INR=IN was the outlier, appreciating almost 0.3% on dollar inflows.

The move by the Bank of Thailand (BoT) marks its first rate hike in nearly four years, and makes it one of the last central banks in the region to tighten its pandemic-era policy as it prioritised economic growth over headwinds from inflation.

However, with inflation hovering around 14-year highs - significantly above BoT's target of 1-3% since early 2022 - the BoT was pressured to dial back its stimulus meant to foster economic growth.

The baht THB=TH , which was down 0.3% at 35.465 per dollar for most of the day, fell slightly to hover around 35.54.

"The Thai baht has been oversold before and now, there could be a reversal from that," said Mitul Kotecha, head of emerging market strategy at TD Securities.

"We've already had quite a rebound in the currency since the start of the month. So, I don't think there is going to be aggressive tightening from here. With the improved growth outlook, it should support the baht going forward."

The baht has risen nearly 4% since the start of August.

With this move, Indonesia remains the only other country in Southeast Asia that is yet to commence policy tightening. The country's central bank will meet later this month on the backdrop of accelerating second-quarter growth and seven-year high inflation in July.

Globally, investors are awaiting key U.S. inflation numbers later in the day although price pressures are expected to have eased in July, however, that is not expected to deter the U.S. Federal Reserve from its hawkish stance.

The U.S. dollar index =USD , which measures the strength of the greenback against six major currencies, edged slightly lower to 106.29.

The Philippine peso extended losses into a second straight day, touching a near one-week low. A day earlier, data showed slower-than-expected economic growth in second-quarter, although the government is confident this year's growth target remains achievable.

Most stock markets in the region fell on subdued investor sentiment, with Indonesia .JKSE , South Korea .KS11 and Taiwan .TWII falling in the range of 0.7% to 0.9%.

Malaysia .KLSE fell about 0.4% ahead of its second-quarter economic growth data on Friday. A Reuters poll found that the economy likely grew at the fastest rate in a year due to strong rebounds in exports and consumption.

On the other hand, Singapore stocks .STI gained about 0.3%.


** Indonesia governor says authorities should shore up food supplies to ensure lower prices

** POLL-India's retail inflation likely eased in July, still far from RBI's target

** Indonesia's 10-year bond yield down to 7.096%

Asia stock indexes and currencies

at 0751 GMT









% Japan


+0.16 -14.7 .N225 #VALUE #VALUE!





-0.06 -5.95 .SSEC






+0.26 -6.44 .NSEI


0.87 Indonesi IDR=

-0.13 -4.17 .JKSE


7.10 a

Malaysia MYR=

-0.04 -6.53 .KLSE


-4.90 Philippi PHP=

-0.13 -8.41 .PSI


-9.14 nes


-0.44 -9.28 .KS11




Singapor SGD=

+0.04 -2.08 .STI


4.97 e



-0.03 -7.70 .TWII


-18.00 Thailand THB=TH

-0.49 -6.01 .SETI



Graphic: World FX rates Link
Asian stock markets Link

Reporting by Sameer Manekar and Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru;
Editing by Rashmi Aich

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