EMERGING MARKETS-Baht merosot karena kesengsaraan virus, saham Indonesia naik karena sorakan pertumbuhan

    * Philippine inflation eases
    * Thai stocks down 0.7%
    * Rupiah slides from 6-week high

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Aug 5 (Reuters) - Thailand's baht hit its lowest level in
nearly three years on Thursday as the country's daily new
COVID-19 cases reached a record high, while Indonesia stocks
surged as Southeast Asia's biggest economy pulled out of a
    The baht weakened to levels last seen in October
2018, remaining the worst-performing currency in Southeast Asia
as a crushing coronavirus wave dented recovery hopes.
    Thai stocks were down about 0.7%, as the country on
Thursday reported a record 20,920 COVID-19 cases and 160
    On Wednesday, the Bank of Thailand said it was again
downgrading its growth forecast for this year to 0.7% from 1.8%
predicted in June, while also cutting its 2022 growth outlook to
3.7%, from 3.9% forecasted earlier.    
    "Given the economic scenario, the dissent in the policy
meeting was interesting... while economies around the world are
turning hawkish, the BoT instead of holding rates could even
move to cut them," said Sim Moh Siong, a currency strategist at
Bank of Singapore.
    Thailand's tourism-reliant economy will likely only see
150,000 visitors this year, the central bank also warned. Before
the pandemic, tourism accounted for nearly 12% of GDP, and the
country saw almost 40 million visitors in 2019.
    Elsewhere, Jakarta shares climbed to their highest
in over four months as the economy broke free from recession,
posting its first quarterly GDP growth in five.
    However, analysts warned the recovery would likely suffer a
setback due to a recent surge in COVID-19 infections.
    The rupiah, meanwhile, weakened from six-week highs
hit in the previous session.
    The Philippine peso weakened in its worst session in
over two weeks, as the country's inflation hit a seven-month low
in July. The central bank said prices may ease further after
strict COVID-19 curbs are reimposed, giving more leeway to keep
interest rates at a record low for longer.
    "The peso's recent moves have been a bit of a mystery in the
absence of huge fundamental news," Siong said, adding that the
bank's commentary on rates and wider Delta variant fears could
be driving the day's movement.
** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields down 3 basis points
at 1.47%​​
** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield up 2.3 basis points at
  Asia stock indexes and                                        
 currencies at   0650 GMT                                 
                          DAILY  YTD %             DAILY   YTD %
                              %                        %  
 Japan                    -0.18  -5.86              0.52    1.03
 China                    +0.02  +0.97             -0.31   -0.19
 India                    -0.10  -1.61              0.04   16.33
 Indonesia                -0.31  -2.19              0.75    3.78
 Malaysia                 -0.02  -4.76              0.09   -8.27
 Philippines              -1.07  -4.55             -0.58   -8.30
 S.Korea                  -0.01  -5.03             -0.13   14.01
 Singapore                -0.03  -2.24             -0.30   11.59
 Taiwan                   +0.24  +2.58             -0.12   19.48
 Thailand                 -0.15  -9.68             -0.59    6.03
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by
Ramakrishnan M.)

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