* Bank Indonesia rate decision around 0700 GMT
* Asian stock markets rise across the board after recent
* Japan's equity markets closed for a holiday
By Anushka Trivedi
July 22 (Reuters) - The Indonesia's rupiah firmed in line
with regional peers on Thursday, on hopes the central bank will
stand pat on rates to support the country through its worst
COVID-19 outbreak yet.
The Singapore dollar, South Korea's won
and the Taiwanese dollar gained 0.2% against a subdued
greenback as risk appetite rebounded with strong earnings
lifting Wall Street stocks overnight.
The rupiah firmed 0.2% amid expectations the Bank
Indonesia (BI) will keep its key interest rate at a record low
of 3.50%, where it has been since February. The BI's two-day
policy meeting ends later in the day.
Local stocks jumped 1.2%, led by banking shares.
The rupiah has weakened 2.5% over the past six-weeks since
the COVID-19 situation in the heavily-populated Indonesia
worsened amid slow vaccination and a creaky healthcare system.
Indonesia's total case load is near 3 million, with daily
deaths touching a record high. Officials have extended movement
curbs in parts of the country till July 25, hurting economic
activity in a number of sectors.
"With the country hard hit by a surge in COVID-19
infections, monetary authorities will likely provide support for
as long as possible, although additional rate cuts are likely
off the table given the recent pressure on the rupiah," Nicholas
Mapa, a senior ING economist, wrote in a note.
"The central bank may resort to other programmes to help
jumpstart bank lending such as incentives for loans to
particular sectors of the economy," he added.
Asian equities tracked their global counterparts higher with
analysts pegging the gains on "buy the dip" behaviour and
positive sentiment from the U.S. markets.
Most stock indexes in the region like in India,
Malaysia and Thailand have declined on a
month-to-date basis as concerns over a Delta variant-led spike
in COVID-19 infections and lockdowns worried investors.
The Philippine stock index was up 1.5% on Thursday
after four sessions of heavy losses, while Singapore and
South Korea equities rose more than 1% each.
** Biggest gainers on the Jakarta index: Bank
Central Asia and PT Bank Jago Tbk, up 1.6%
and 3.5%, respectively
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields were up
2.7 basis points at 6.353%
** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include SATS Ltd
up 2.9% and Singapore Airlines Ltd up 2.7%
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0409 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD
Japan +0.14 -6.25 0.00 0.38
China +0.03 +0.96 0.33 2.91
India +0.00 -2.08 0.74 12.63
Indonesia +0.24 -3.21 1.25 2.12
Malaysia +0.15 -4.82 0.52 -6.31
Philippines -0.27 -4.47 1.49 -7.94
S.Korea +0.29 -5.61 1.10 13.15
Singapore +0.12 -3.00 1.20 11.00
Taiwan +0.20 +1.66 0.53 19.13
Thailand -0.03 -8.77 0.56 6.91
(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani