* Taiwan central bank meeting later on Thursday
* Malaysia govt announces $4.87 bln stimulus
* Indonesia's rupiah up 0.4%, stocks over 1%
March 18 (Reuters) - Indonesia led Asia's emerging stocks
and currency markets higher on Thursday as the country's central
bank as expected left its key policy rate unchanged following
the U.S. Federal Reserve's pledge to keep interest rates near
Bank Indonesia (BI) said it will continue to intervene in
the market to keep the rupiah stable as the currency comes under
pressure from capital outflows.
Meanwhile, Philippines and Singapore stocks
rose around 1% after the U.S. central bank said it would not
wind back stimulus despite a stronger U.S. economic outlook and
an expected surge in inflation.
The yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury note
hit a 13-month high, helping the dollar index rise 0.2%
and limiting gains in Asia's risk-sensitive currencies.
The index had slumped 0.6% on Wednesday after the Fed's
remarks on economic growth, with DBS analysts attributing the
sell-off to profit-taking on gains made in the run up to the
Indonesian stocks were up 1.2% after BI's decision.
Analysts were expecting the central bank to keep its 7-day
reverse repurchase rate unchanged at a record low
of 3.50% as rising U.S. yields puts pressure on the currency.
BI has cut rates by 150 basis points over six cuts since the
Asia's higher-yielding bonds were also moving in tight
ranges following the Fed decision. U.S. bond yields have been
rising on expectations that a faster economic recovery could
fuel inflation and prompt the Fed to start unwinding ultra-loose
Citi analysts said a growing U.S. economy and higher
inflation might "keep (the) U.S. curve steep and prevent lasting
relief for Asia fixed income."
Taiwan's central bank will hold its policy meeting later on
Thursday, with interest rates expected to be left unchanged.
The local dollar was flat through the day, and
stocks closed nearly half a percent higher.
The local dollar, which has strengthened over 6% in the
year, has become a source of concern for the export-reliant
economy that saw strong growth last year from demand for its
Taiwan's central bank governor recently said the island may
be labelled a currency manipulator by the United States, having
met Washington's three main criteria for such a decision.
Last week, data showed a big spike in currency intervention
spending last year.
In Malaysia, stocks and the ringgit were up
less than half a percent. The government unveiled a fresh round
of stimulus on Wednesday, totalling 20 billion ringgit ($4.87
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 0.6 basis
points at 6.751%
** Malaysia to sell 4.5 bln ringgit government bonds
** Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd, Genting
Singapore Ltd led gains in Singapore
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0740 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD %
Japan -0.32 -5.44 1.01 10.10
China +0.06 +0.42 0.51 -0.29
India -0.04 +0.68 0.37 5.68
Indonesia +0.38 -2.30 1.18 6.22
Malaysia +0.27 -2.14 0.44 0.30
Philippines -0.27 -1.42 0.97 -7.13
S.Korea +0.58 -3.34 0.61 6.70
Singapore -0.17 -1.59 0.81 10.24
Taiwan -0.04 +0.60 0.44 10.56
Thailand +0.03 -2.60 0.55 8.70
($1 = 4.1050 ringgit)
(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan and Nikhil Subba in
Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)