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EMERGING MARKETS-Thai stocks gain ahead of c.bank meeting; most Asian shares higher

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
    * Thai c. bank meeting due at 0700 GMT
    * Indonesia to post first annual GDP contraction in over 2
decades- poll

    By Shruti Sonal
    Feb 3 (Reuters) - Thai stocks climbed and the baht was
subdued on Wednesday ahead of a central bank meeting due later
in the day, at which the Bank of Thailand (BOT) is widely
expected to leave its key rate unchanged at a record low.
    The benchmark added as much as 0.9% by 0451 GMT,
while the baht was trading 0.1% lower. 
    A Reuters poll showed a majority of economists have
predicted no change in the rate, which has been held since the
central bank cut rates three times between February and May last
year, when the coronavirus pandemic battered the tourism-reliant
economy.
    Analysts were more concerned about a setback to a revival of
consumption and tourism amid a resurgent COVID-19 cluster in the
country, which has led it to slash its 2020 economic growth
forecast.
    "The BOT could express more concerning tones regarding the
economic growth outlook due to rising COVID-19 cases and ongoing
stringent policy to curb the virus," Poon Panichpibool, markets
strategists at Krung Thai Bank said. 
    In such a scenario, the government will need to take more
stimulus measures and spend around 300 billion to 400 billion
baht ($10.0 billion to $13.3 billion) during the year, said San
Attarangsan, an economist at ‎Kasikornbank.
    "I think the measures should be more short-term, more
relief-related", he added. 
    Most other stock markets in the region gained, taking
positive cues from a Wall Street rally overnight on renewed
hopes for U.S. President Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion
COVID-19 aid bill.
    Indonesian shares climbed as much as 1.4%, while the
trade-dependent Singapore bourse added 0.8% and India
 extended a budget-fuelled rally.
    However, concerns over economic growth in the region
remained.
    A private sector survey showed China's services sector
activity grew at its slowest pace in nine months in January,
while a Reuters poll suggested Indonesia is expected to post its
first annual contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) since
1998.
    Philippine stocks, which have gained about 4% in the
last two sessions, shed 0.7%. 
        
    Highlights:
    
    ** Yoma Strategic shares fall to lowest since May after
Myanmar coup
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 1
basis points at 1.245%
    ** Top gainers on the Jakarta stock index include
Pradiksi Gunatama Tbk PT, Panorama Sentrawisata Tbk PT
, Trinitan Metals and Minerals PT


  Asia stock indexes and                              
 currencies at   0514 GMT                        
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX     FX  INDE  STOCKS  STOCK
                     DAILY  YTD %     X   DAILY  S YTD
                         %                    %      %
 Japan               -0.02  -1.67  <.N2    0.76   4.14
                                   25>           
 China    <CNY=CFX   -0.05  +1.06  <.SS    0.20   1.95
          S>                       EC>           
 India               +0.03  +0.17  <.NS    0.94   5.75
                                   EI>           
 Indones             +0.11  +0.25  <.JK    1.32   2.42
 ia                                SE>           
 Malaysi             -0.10  -0.67  <.KL    0.35  -2.53
 a                                 SE>           
 Philipp             -0.26  -0.01  <.PS   -0.12  -3.93
 ines                              I>            
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   +0.30  -2.53  <.KS    0.44   8.25
          C>                       11>           
 Singapo             +0.05  -0.81  <.ST    0.58   3.18
 re                                I>            
 Taiwan              +1.58  +1.92  <.TW    0.22   7.21
                                   II>           
 Thailan             -0.10  -0.13  <.SE    0.54   3.10
 d                                 TI>           
 

($1 = 30.0000 baht)

 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; editing by Richard Pullin)
  
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