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EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah, baht resume decline; Thai stocks cheer stimulus

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Baht hits one-week low
    * Rupiah lower for third straight day
    * Malaysia stocks lose almost 1%

    By Shashwat Awasthi
    Sept 3 (Reuters) - Indonesia's rupiah eased on Thursday as doubts about the fiscal and
monetary policy mix and the central bank's independence weighed on sentiment, while additional
fiscal stimulus in Thailand supported Bangkok stocks for a second day.
    A bounce in the U.S. dollar kept gains among other emerging Asian currencies in check, with
many trading flat to marginally higher on the day.
    Thailand's baht, hit by the sudden resignation of the finance minister this week,
weakened for the second straight day and fell 0.3%.
    The Indonesian rupiah gave up another 0.4%, taking weekly losses in South East Asia's
most laggard currency this year to more than 1%, even after Bank Indonesia's (BI) intervention
to stabilize the currency on Wednesday.
    Proposals earlier this week for a new monetary policy framework that would shake up Bank
Indonesia's decision making and potentially give ministers a say on interest rates have shaken
investors at a time when the central bank is already aiding government fiscal stimulus efforts
to back-stop an emergency bond issuance scheme.
    Indonesia's economy has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis this year. 
    "We could see modest bouts of associated IDR softening on further developments in the near
term," Maybank analysts said in a note.
    "One key area markets would be scrutinizing is the confluence between ceding of central bank
independence and the potential for larger extent of debt monetization by BI."
    The country's main stock index slipped 0.7%, and analysts at OCBC Bank cited
confusion about whether debt monetization was a one-off or not as a possible hindrance.
    Stocks in Thailand added 0.5% and have climbed more than 1% in the last two days as
$2.2 billion in cash handouts and job measures announced Wednesday boosted risk taking.

    Data on Thursday also showed core inflation in August rose in line with analysts' estimates.

    South Korean shares jumped almost 1.5% amid a rally in Asian equities after a
sustained recovery in China's services sector and the prospect of additional U.S. stimulus to
support the economy.
    Malaysia's main index slid 0.9%, however, giving up almost all the gains it had
recorded in the previous session.
    
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 4.5 basis points at 6.953%
    ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Megapolitan Developments
down 7%, Alfa Energi Investama down 6.85% and Sunson Textile Manufacturer
down 6.8%
    ** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index include Hartalega Holdings
down 5.21%, Tenaga Nasional down 1.78% and Maxis down 1.76%
    
    
   Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0419 GMT                                  
   COUNTRY      FX RIC    FX DAILY %    FX YTD %    INDEX   STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD %
    Japan                    -0.09       +2.19                   1.28          -0.47
    China                    +0.05       +1.89                  -0.06          11.56
    India                    +0.00       -2.25                   0.13          -5.09
  Indonesia                  -0.20       -6.03                  -0.59          -16.18
  Malaysia                   +0.05       -1.26                  -0.86          -4.05
 Philippines                 +0.03       +4.35                   0.12          -26.49
   S.Korea                   -0.12       -2.56                   1.45           9.14
  Singapore                  -0.01       -1.34                  -0.63          -21.68
   Taiwan                    +0.63       +2.60                   0.54           6.43
  Thailand                   -0.29       -4.47                   0.46          -16.32
 
 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Kim Coghill)
  
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