EMERGING MARKETS-Thai baht, Philippine peso lead Asian FX lower; stocks drop

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* Philippines peso tumbles to over 16-yr low * Indonesia, Philippines policy meetings on June 23 * Asian stocks deepen losses in later half of trade By Savyata Mishra June 22 (Reuters) - The Thai baht hit a fresh five-and-a-half-year low on Wednesday amid broader market weakness, which also kept other regional currencies under pressure, as investors fretted over higher global interest rates and rampant inflation. Leading losses in the region, the baht slipped as much as 0.5% to its lowest since January 2017, with the Bank of Thailand (BOT) warning that a delay in policy normalization could entail greater costs to the economy going forward, minutes of its June policy meeting showed. "I think the BOT's move to hike rate won't help THB that much, as the market have already priced in much more aggressive rate hikes," said Poon Panichpibool, markets strategist with Krung Thai Bank. He said the baht could regain some strength once the peak of hawkishness from the U.S. Federal Reserve is in sight. The BOT had held its key interest rate steady earlier in the month, though the comments in the minutes indicate a more hawkish turn. Globally, the shift to higher rates by several major central banks has sparked recession worries, leading to a sell-off in riskier assets over recent months. "Ongoing global growth concerns, inflation worries and fears of tighter financial conditions continue to keep a leash on risk appetite," Maybank analysts said in a note. Other regional currencies also fell against the U.S. dollar, undoing a brief recovery on Tuesday. The Philippine peso continued to depreciate for the sixth session in a row to hit its lowest since November 2005, after falling as much as 0.6% earlier. Indonesia's rupiah dropped 0.4% to a near two-year low, while the Malaysian ringgit was down 0.2%, its biggest drop since June 13. Investors will closely watch policy decisions from Philippine and Indonesian central banks on Thursday, with analysts differing over how aggressively the banks will act to tame accelerating inflation in the Southeast Asian nations. The Singaporean dollar, the South Korean won and the Indian rupee fell between 0.2% and 0.4%. The won extended losses to a fourth straight session to touch its lowest since July 14, 2009. Asian equities deepened losses in the later part of the trading session, as inflation and recession worries weighed on sentiment. The tech-heavy South Korean benchmark dropped 2.7%, followed by a 2.4% fall in Taiwan shares. Stocks in Malaysia, Indonesia lost 1%, while Philippines fell 1.5%. Malaysian palm oil companies skidded after palm oil futures fell over 2%. Focus will also be on Fed Chair Jerome Powell's semi-annual testimony before Senate banking panel later in the day, where he is expected to reiterate his "unconditional" commitment to restore price stability. "Should Powell be hawkish, it would prelude more Asian FX weakness," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 1.2 basis points (bps) at 7.502%​​ ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is down 7.8 bps at 3.045%​​ ** Indian 10-year benchmark yields down as much as 7.4 bps at 7.408%, lowest since June 1 Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0702 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCK DAILY YTD % X DAILY S YTD % % % Japan +0.15 -15.6 <.N2 -0.37 -9.18 4 25> China EC> 2 India -0.18 -4.97 <.NS -1.11 -10.8 EI> 8 Indones -0.39 -4.16 <.JK -0.82 6.15 ia SE> Malaysi -0.16 -5.43 <.KL -0.99 -7.91 a SE> Philipp -0.50 -6.51 <.PS -1.41 -13.0 ines I> 0 S.Korea 11> 2 Singapo -0.32 -2.89 <.ST -0.43 -0.63 re I> Taiwan -0.25 -7.05 <.TW -2.42 -15.7 II> 6 Thailan -0.46 -5.90 <.SE -0.67 -5.65 d TI> (Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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