EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks, Chinese yuan strengthen on friendly Xi-Biden call

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    * Indonesia, Philippine c.banks to hold rates - Businesshala polls
    * Thai stocks gain for fourth day
    * China's yuan scales five-month high

    By Arundhati Dutta
    Nov 16 (Businesshala) - Most emerging Asian stock markets rose and the yuan scaled a
five-month peak on Tuesday as traders were encouraged by positive developments in talks
between Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden.
    Jinping and Biden opened talks warmly and stressed their responsibility to avoid
conflict. They are expected to discuss a range of issues including tariffs on China
imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump.
    Thai stocks led gains in the region, up 0.5%, followed by the Philippines
, Malaysia and Taiwan indexes gaining around 0.3% each.
    Additionally, "most Asian countries have started to embark on 'living with COVID' via
reopening of borders for international travels, which in turn could boast economic
activities," said Kelvin Wong, an analyst for CMC markets.
    The Philippines has just started to reopen schools after 20 months of
pandemic-induced closures, while Thailand opened up here
 its top tourist destinations to visitors from more than 45 countries from Nov. 1.

    Bangkok shares climbed for a fourth session to hit their highest level in nearly a
month after the Thai government forecast higher growth for 2021, with more stimulus set
to be introduced.
    The Jakarta benchmark rose 0.3% and was on track for its best session in a
week, while the Indonesian rupiah flitted between positive and negative territory.
The unit was down 0.1%, as of 0710 GMT. 
    Investors now await Bank Indonesia's (BI) policy meeting due on Thursday, where
interest rates are expected to remain unchanged to aid an economic recovery from the
COVID-19 fallout, according to a Businesshala poll.
    "Improving activity, inflation and U.S. Federal Reserve policy tightening are likely
to push BI to normalize policy settings, starting in the second-quarter of 2022," Goldman
Sachs analysts said in a note over the weekend.
    Meanwhile, most regional currencies gave up early gains as the U.S. dollar held near
a 16-month peak, even as the yuan touched a five-month high.    
    The Philippine peso, down 0.3%, weakened the most, followed by the South
Korean won and the Malaysian ringgit as both eased around 0.1% each.
    The Philippine central bank is expected to stand pat on interest rates when it meets
on Thursday for a policy review, according to a separate Businesshala poll.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 2.4 basis points at 4.548
    ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is unchanged at 3.562%
    ** PLDT Inc and International Container Terminal add around 2%,
each on the Philippine benchmark
    
 Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0732 GMT                                           
 COUNTRY       FX RIC       FX DAILY %  FX YTD %     INDEX   STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD %
 Japan                           -0.10     -9.62                       0.11          8.61
 China                           +0.11     +2.37                      -0.33          1.40
 India                           +0.06     -1.85                      -0.16         29.31
 Indonesia                       -0.08     -1.28                       0.32         11.00
 Malaysia                        -0.10     -3.46                       0.30         -6.16
 Philippines                     -0.30     -4.51                       0.34          3.19
 S.Korea                         -0.13     -7.94                      -0.08          4.31
 Singapore                       -0.04     -2.42                       0.06         14.03
 Taiwan                          -0.03     +2.49                       0.33         20.10
 Thailand                        -0.03     -8.46                       0.42         13.55
 


 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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