Emerging markets: Indonesian rupiah falls on virus concerns; Asia forex eyes Fed meeting


JAKARTA, June 14 (Reuters): Indonesia's rupiah was on track for its biggest daily fall in over three weeks on Monday amid surging coronavirus infections, while trading in most other Asian emerging markets was muted ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting this week.

The rupiah weakened 0.3% and was set for its biggest one-day fall since May 20 after Indonesia on Sunday reported the highest number of daily coronavirus cases since late February.

Stocks in Jakarta traded flat by 0412 GMT as dealers also looked ahead to Thursday's monetary policy meeting, where Bank Indonesia is expected to leave rates at record lows.

Malaysia's ringgit and Thailand's baht inched about 0.2% lower as overall trading was thinned by holidays in China and Taiwan and investors awaited monetary policy meetings.

The US. central bank meeting on Wednesday will be key this week as financial markets look to see whether the Federal Reserve will reiterate that a recent rise in US inflation is transitory.

Investors are also eyeing the meeting to see whether the Fed could signal it is moving away from ultra-loose monetary policy earlier than expected.

"The FOMC's policy tightening path will be the focus this week, but there appears to be limited scope for a hawkish surprise at this meeting," analysts at Barclays said in a note.

"A benign FOMC outcome should support risk and EM FX in the near term."

Emerging market assets have recorded healthy inflows in recent weeks with US Treasury yields and the dollar under pressure as markets have largely shrugged off worries over rising U.S. inflation.

The Philippine bourse has surged more than 11% in the last three weeks, equities in Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam have rallied more than 5% each over that period, and Indian stocks have notched up record highs.

The ringgit and the baht have risen for the last three weeks to be among the stand out emerging market currencies in Asia, and the rupiah has added more than 1% over that time.

"Fundamentals and flows would remain supportive of Asia FX and we see modest room for a further gain vs USD," ANZ Research analysts said.

Taiwan's central bank also holds a monetary policy meeting on Thursday, while the Bank of Japan will announce its rate decision on Friday. - Reuters

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