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EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah jumps after c.bank allays fears over autonomy

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I
    * S. Korean won firms over 2% for the week
    * Thai shares, baht on track to post weekly gains

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Sept 18 (Reuters) - Indonesia's rupiah rose to a more than
two-week high on Friday, taking heart from central bank
assurances of its freedom from political influence and a
decision to keep interest rates steady in aid of supporting the
currency.
    Helped by a weaker dollar, the rupiah firmed 0.6% and
local stocks also rose, putting both on course for
weekly gains after two weeks of volatility driven by concerns
about the economy and proposals to change the central bank law
to hand government more say in policymaking.
    Asked about the deliberations in parliament, Governor Perry
Warjiyo said on Thursday President Joko Widodo and Finance
Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati had both pledged that monetary
policy would remain independent.
    "It appears that Bank Indonesia wants to send out a message
about their independence by keeping the rate unchanged," said
Societe Generale economist Kunal Kundu.
    "The question remains whether a weakening economy and lower
growth potential can be ignored going forward."
    Joseph Incalcaterra, HSBC Global Research's chief ASEAN
economist, said that a window to trim the rates may open up
later this year, likely after the U.S. presidential election.   
    Other Asian currencies gained ground after downbeat U.S.
jobs data overnight and the Federal Reserve's promise to keep
interest rates at a record low weighed on the dollar.
    The South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar
 advanced about 1% each to lead gains in the region.
    The won outperformed to end the week over 2% firmer, its
fastest weekly gain since early June, while the local bourse
 also rose 0.3% on foreign buying.
    Most Asian stock markets eked out modest gains after a day
of major global central bank meetings where adequate monetary
support was promised but without much details.
    Singapore, which is moving to try and reopen its
economy even as coronavirus cases continue to emerge in migrant
worker dormitories, was up just 0.3% on the week. 
    Thai stocks were set to end higher for the first
week in three, while the baht remained on course to
appreciate for a second straight week, ahead of a central bank
meeting on Wednesday.
    Thailand's tourism- and export-reliant economy has been
reeling from weakened demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, though
the recent removal of most virus restrictions has given markets
some hope.
    "In my view, we have seen the worst of the capital outflows
from Thailand," said Nader Naeimi, head of dynamic markets at
AMP Capital.
    "The most significant catalyst for foreign inflows from here
is success in phase-three COVID vaccine trials," he said, adding
that conditions for an upturn in markets were in place.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down
0.6 basis points at 5.102%
    ** Top Glove climbs 5% on plans to list on HK
after record profit, boosts Malaysia index
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are SM
Investments Corp down 3.65% and Bloomberry Resorts Corp
 down 3.02%
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                               
 currencies at   0737 GMT                                        
 COUNTRY   FX RIC       FX DAILY %   FX YTD %     INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                                                          DAILY   YTD %
                                                              %  
 Japan                       +0.15      +3.86             0.18   -1.25
 China                       +0.12      +3.06              2.07    9.44
 India                       +0.33      -2.77              0.38   -5.00
 Indonesi                    +0.54      -5.83              0.31  -19.77
 a                                                               
 Malaysia                    +0.29      -0.87              0.39   -4.39
 Philippi                    +0.08      +4.65             -0.58  -24.39
 nes                                                             
 S.Korea                     +1.22      -0.34              0.26    9.77
 Singapor                    +0.06      -0.85             -0.12  -22.50
 e                                                               
 Taiwan                      +1.01      +3.75              0.02    7.32
 Thailand                    +0.22      -3.89             -0.04  -18.73
 
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi, Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru
and Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)
  
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