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EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysian shares up on budget passage, Indonesia hits over 10-month high

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I
    * S. Korea shares end at record high
    * Indonesian shares hit highest level since Jan 30
    * Currency investors await Fed meeting outcome 

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    Dec 16 (Reuters) - Emerging stock markets in Asia gained on
Wednesday with Malaysia rising for a second straight session
after the 2021 budget got approval in parliament, lifting hopes
of a faster recovery for the third-largest economy in Southeast
Asia. 
    The Malaysian stock index has gained roughly a third
in value since hitting lows in March's coronavirus-driven
selloff and a 1.3% rise in morning trade meant it is now up
almost 6% for the year.
    The recovery, driven by hopes of a global economic bounce
next year, has gained pace in Asia in the final weeks of 2020,
even as the United States and Europe struggled with fresh
COVID-19 infections.
    The budget vote in Malaysia also aids Prime Minister
Muhyiddin Yassin, whose eight months in office have been beset
by coalition infighting and a leadership challenge from
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
    The budget included a record 322.5 billion ringgit ($79.53
billion) in spending next year to kick-start growth.

    "We expect 2021 to be a better year for the
market...additional liquidity from the government stimulus
announced in Budget 2021 could help boost retail interest,"
analysts at trading firm CGS CIMB wrote in a note.
    Malaysia's gains, however, trail behind several regional
peers. 
    Buoyed by this year's "stay-at-home" boom in tech spending,
South Korea and Taiwan's markets are up 26% and 19%,
respectively, since January, while those in India and China have
gained more than 10%.
    That has led to concerns that speculative capital inflows
will cause unwanted gains for currencies across the region,
leading a number of central banks to intervene in markets or
take other steps to cap appreciation.
    The Malaysian ringgit, Indonesian rupiah and
Thai baht dipped against a globally weaker dollar in
afternoon trade, while the Philippine peso, Singapore
dollar and Indian rupee edged higher.
    Indonesian shares, still down 3% on the year, gained
1.6% to their highest since Jan. 30, ahead of a central bank
meeting on Thursday that is expected to keep interest rates
unchanged. 
    South Korean shares closed at a record high, as
investors cheered a pledge from the country's prime minister to
secure more hospital beds to cope with the worst outbreak since
the start of the pandemic.
    South Korean bonds faced an outflow of $823 million in
November, lagging its peers in Indonesia and Thailand, whose
bond markets lured inflows of $1.1 billion and $941 million,
respectively.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is down 3.59 basis
points at 2.721%
    ** Top gainers on the Jakarta stock index include
Zebra Nusantara Tbk PT up 34.67% at 101 rupiah,
Apexindo Pratama Duta Tbk PT up ​ 25% at 530 rupiah
    ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are Megaworld Corp
 up 3.02% at 4.1 peso, Universal Robina Corp up
2.92% at 158.5 peso
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                   
 currencies at   0733 GMT                            
 COUNTRY   FX RIC        FX     FX     INDEX  STOCK  STOCKS
                      DAILY  YTD %                S   YTD %
                          %                   DAILY  
                                                  %  
 Japan                +0.22  +5.01             0.26   13.11
 China     <CNY=CFXS  +0.01  +6.50            -0.01   10.39
           >                                         
 India                +0.12  -2.95             0.43   11.97
 Indonesi             -0.07  -1.56             1.63   -3.04
 a                                                   
 Malaysia             -0.07  +0.84             0.50    5.90
 Philippi             +0.08  +5.43             1.00   -6.60
 nes                                                 
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFTC  -0.06  +5.70             0.54   26.12
           >                                         
 Singapor             +0.13  +1.05             0.44  -10.97
 e                                                   
 Taiwan               +1.14  +6.99             1.68   19.23
 Thailand             -0.02  -0.45             0.11   -6.39
 

($1 = 4.0550 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun
Koyyur)
  
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