EMERGING MARKETS-Baht at over 1-year low as cenbank holds rates, Malaysian stocks drop

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* Thailand reports record daily cases and deaths * Malaysia's prime minister fights back calls to resign * Singapore shares benefit from banking gains By Soumyajit Saha Aug 4 (Reuters) - Thailand's baht hit its lowest level in over sixteen months on Wednesday as the central bank held rates at a record low, while Malaysian stocks dropped to a near nine-month trough amid increased political uncertainty. The baht was at its weakest level since April 2, 2020 as the Bank of Thailand left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.5% for a 10th straight meeting. The central bank was worried about the baht's excessive strength between 2018 and 2019, but now the concerns are at the other extreme, with the pandemic denting tourism and devastating the currency, analysts at Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients. The tourism-reliant economy continues to be besieged by a raging coronavirus wave, with the country reporting record increases in daily COVID-19 cases and deaths on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Kuala Lumpur benchmark dropped more than 1% to its lowest level since November last year, hurt by the ongoing COVID-19 wave as well as increased political uncertainty. The prime minister on Wednesday defied mounting pressure to resign, saying that he retained majority support among lawmakers. The calls to quit had been sparked by a rare rebuke from the country's monarch last week. Indonesia's rupiah extended gains to touch a more than six-week peak, as Southeast Asia's largest economy was set to report its first GDP growth in five quarters on Thursday, according to a Reuters poll. Jakarta shares rose as much as 0.5% to their highest level in nearly two weeks. The country raised an above-target 34 trillion rupiah ($2.37 billion) from a biweekly bond auction on Tuesday, and said it was past the peak of an ongoing virus wave on Monday. Singapore shares also advanced, as heavyweight lenders were boosted by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank reporting estimate-beating results. However, the banks reported sequential performance slowing sharply, underscoring challenges to maintain growth in the face of persistent virus-led restrictions in the broader region. HIGHLIGHTS **Shares of Singapore lenders Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank rise 1.8% and 2%, respectively ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields down 2 basis points at 6.256% ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is up 3.6 basis points at 1.311%​​ COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY YTD % DAILY YTD % % % Japan -0.06 -5.38 -0.21 0.51 China +0.14 +1.04 0.85 0.12 India +0.13 -1.51 0.73 16.21 Indonesia +0.21 -1.89 0.33 2.87 Malaysia -0.05 -4.74 -0.59 -8.35 Philippines +0.15 -3.26 0.38 -7.77 S.Korea +0.41 -5.02 1.34 14.16 Singapore +0.24 -2.01 1.15 12.02 Taiwan +0.45 +2.43 0.40 19.63 Thailand -0.15 -9.40 -0.31 5.96 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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