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AseanPlus News 08 Feb 2021 | 4:14 PM

Emerging Markets: Thailand and Indonesia make good gains as most Asian currencies strengthen against the dollar

The Taiwan dollar <, best performing currency in the region so far this year, added over 1% despite the central bank's attempts to crackdown on speculation of the currency. Taiwan's central bank said on Sunday it had banned Deutsche Bank from trading Taiwan dollar deliverable and non-deliverable forwards and suspended it for two years from trading forex derivatives. The currency is at its strongest in more than 23 years against the U.S. dollar in a rally fuelled by rising global demand for tech products of the island's trade-dependent economy. Most shares in the region strengthened, tracking broader gains in global equities, on hopes a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package will be passed by U.S. lawmakers soon. Thai, Indian and the Indonesian benchmarks added over 1% each. Malaysia gained as much as 0.5% after government data showed the country's industrial production index rebounded in December after two months of decline. Energy stocks across the region saw solid gains as Brent oil futures neared $60 a barrel, boosted by supply cuts among key producers and hopes for further U.S. economic stimulus measures stoking demand. Thailand's PTT PCL and Malaysian heavyweight Petronas Chemicals Group inched nearly 4% higher. However, trading volumes remained low ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in most markets. Taiwan's stock and bond markets were closed starting Monday until Feb. 16, while Chinese financial markets will be closed for a week starting Thursday