(Fixes byline) * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Indonesian rupiah up * Thai parliament passes $106 bln bill By Anushka Trivedi Sept 21 (Reuters) - The Thai baht firmed to a three-week high on Monday, gaining along with most Asian currencies against a subdued dollar, while drawing relief from an anti-government protest passing off peacefully at the weekend. At the biggest demonstration in years, tens of thousands of protesters on Saturday cheered calls for reform of the monarchy as well as for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader, and a new constitution and elections. "There was a lot of anxiety going into the weekend", said Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital markets research at Kasikornbank, adding that relief that that there was no violence gave "some impetus for the markets to strengthen this morning." The baht gained 0.4%, marking its best day since Sept. 1, while local stocks also rose. Also lending support was the country's parliament passing a $106 billion budget bill on Friday for fiscal 2021 to revive Southeast Asia's second-largest economy from a collapse in tourism and exports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Thai central bank meeting due on Wednesday, Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob's last, is expected to leave rates unchanged at record low of 0.5%, Silpachai said. Other Asian currencies firmed too. Indonesia's rupiah extended Friday's gains, rising 0.4% to its highest level since Sept 2. The currency has been pressured this month by concerns over rising coronavirus cases and mooted changes to the central bank law, which could threaten its independence, but a decision last week to keep interest rates steady seems to have settled some of the jitters. S&P Global signalled on Friday that Indonesia should handle any changes to the central bank law carefully to prevent any pressure on its markets and sovereign rating. Stock markets across the region were rangebound, as a spike in coronavirus cases locally and in Europe put a dampener on global sentiment. Risks of increased military tensions between the United States and China as some Washington officials visited Taiwan last week also added to concerns. "This dimension of military tensions are sobering reminders that any dial back in U.S.-China tensions on the trade or commercial front may be no more than temporary relief", Riki Ogawa of Mizuho Bank said in a note. Philippine stocks dipped 0.4% to lead losses, with consumer stocks weighing on the index. On Sunday, the country's confirmed infections in the country had swelled to 286,743, still the highest in the region. HIGHLIGHTS ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 4 basis points at 6.874% ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Ayala Land Inc down 2.1% and Puregold Price Club Inc down 1.97% ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include Hitachi Chemical Storage Battery (Thailand) PCL up 14.67%, Apex Development PCL up 14.29% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0408 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS STOCKS YTD DAILY % % Japan +0.26 +4.15 0.00 0.29 China +0.19 +3.05 -0.41 8.99 India +0.00 -2.81 0.10 -5.36 Indonesia +0.41 -5.39 -0.19 -19.84 Malaysia +0.10 -0.46 -0.04 -5.20 Philippin +0.26 +4.79 -0.38 -24.68 es S.Korea -0.03 -0.36 -0.20 9.55 Singapore +0.39 -0.72 0.24 -22.31 Taiwan +0.70 +3.99 -0.36 6.93 Thailand +0.39 -3.52 0.35 -18.16 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru)
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