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Industrials

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesia stocks weaken as c.bank meeting looms

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I
    * All eyes on Fed policy
    * Manila shares hit one-week low
    * Malaysia markets closed for holiday

    By Shashwat Awasthi
    Sept 16 (Reuters) - Indonesian stocks slid for the second straight session on
Wednesday, ahead of a Bank Indonesia meeting tipped to hold fire on cuts in interest rates that
would help a struggling economy in aid of stabilising the rupiah.
    The currency, which has weakened 2% so far this month, firmed as much as 0.3% ahead of
Thursday's central bank decision, before inching lower along with a number of its Asian peers.

    Other stock markets across the region were mixed, with the Philippines, already down
nearly 25% for the year, sliding more than 1% after three days of gains amid doubts over a
decision on relaxing social distancing norms.
    BI has become a focus for foreign investors in Southeast Asian markets in recent weeks as
deliberations around the bank's mandate raised concerns over its autonomy at a time when the
economy is sliding into recession.
    Indonesia's finance minister on Tuesday forecast a steeper-than-expected contraction in
Southeast Asia's largest economy in the third quarter, after coronavirus curbs were reinstated
in the capital.
    Trading in emerging Asian currencies was largely muted as investors who have driven four
months of dollar weakness awaited a U.S. Federal Reserve policy statement for signs on how it
will execute a policy shift allowing for greater tolerance towards inflation.
    While the chances of the U.S. central bank delivering actual new policy steps on Wednesday
are seen as minimal, analysts at the very least expect the Fed's newest economic projections to
point the way to an extended period of lower interest rates. 
    "While these (messages) are all expected to keep the greenback subdued, there are plenty of
items on the table the market could pick up on," said Jingyi Pan, a strategist with retail
trading platform IG.
    "Any lack of dovish guidance is not expected to be taken well by the market."
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are up 15.299 basis points at 5.124%
    ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Inter Delta down 6.88%,
Trisula International down 6.86% and Tunas Alfin down 6.82%
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Sembcorp Industries up 7.32%, Wilmar
International up 3.36% and Comfortdelgro up 3.36%
    
    
   Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0702 GMT                                  
   COUNTRY      FX RIC    FX DAILY %   FX YTD %     INDEX   STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD %
    Japan                   +0.04        +3.06                   0.09          -0.77
    China                   +0.17        +2.84                  -0.43           7.58
    India                   -0.02        -3.10                   0.24          -5.09
  Indonesia                 -0.13        -6.56                  -0.72          -19.61
  Malaysia                   0.00        -0.94                   0.00          -3.62
 Philippines                +0.04        +4.74                  -1.19          -23.91
   S.Korea                  +0.25        -1.68                  -0.31          10.84
  Singapore                 +0.13        -1.09                   0.58          -22.42
   Taiwan                   +0.83        +3.32                   1.02           8.17
  Thailand                  +0.19        -3.89                   0.01          -18.58
 
 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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