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EMERGING MARKETS-Thai stocks pare gains as c.bank holds rates, flags recovery risks

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
    * Thai c.bank holds key rate at record low 0.50%
    * India, S. Korea gain over 1% each

    By Shruti Sonal
    Feb 3 (Reuters) - Thai stocks pared some gains on Wednesday
after the central bank held its key interest rate but warned
that the resurgence in COVID-19 cases could hinder the country's
economic recovery. 
    The benchmark, which had climbed as much as 0.9%
earlier in the day, was trading flat by 0827 GMT. The baht
 was little changed. 
    The Bank of Thailand kept the rate unchanged in a widely
expected move but warned that the tourism-reliant economy could
grow less than earlier forecast this year, with fewer foreign
tourists coming in than previously predicted.
    Analysts have raised concerns about setbacks to a revival in
consumption and tourism amid a resurgent COVID-19 cluster in the
country since December last year.
    "As of now, we expect the GDP growth for 2021 to be just
2.2% with a higher probability of further revision downward to
below 2% growth due to delayed vaccine distribution and clouded
tourism outlook," Poon Panichpibool, markets strategist at Krung
Thai Bank said.
    In such a scenario, the government will need to take more
stimulus measures and spend around 300 billion baht to 400
billion baht ($10.0 billion to $13.3 billion) during the year,
said San Attarangsan, an economist at ‎Kasikornbank.
    Most other stock markets in the region posted gains, 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.
    South Korea and India each climbed over 1%,
while the Indonesian, Singaporean and Malaysian
 indexes added 0.5%.
    However, concerns over economic growth in the region
lingered.
    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 on Friday.
    Philippine stocks, which clocked in gains of about 4%
in the last two sessions, bucked the trend to shed 0.1%.
    
    Highlights:
    

    ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is up 3.8 basis
points at 1.091%
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Robinsons Retail
Holdings Inc; PLDT Inc; Globe Telecom Inc

    ** Yoma Strategic shares fall to lowest since May after
Myanmar coup
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                              
 currencies at   0840 GMT                        
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX     FX  INDE  STOCKS  STOCK
                     DAILY  YTD %     X   DAILY  S YTD
                         %                    %      %
 Japan               -0.05  -1.69  <.N2    1.00   4.38
                                   25>           
 China    <CNY=CFX   -0.02  +1.09  <.SS   -0.46   1.27
          S>                       EC>           
 India               +0.05  +0.20  <.NS    1.37   6.20
                                   EI>           
 Indones             +0.14  +0.29  <.JK    0.56   1.65
 ia                                SE>           
 Malaysi             -0.05  -0.62  <.KL    0.49  -2.39
 a                                 SE>           
 Philipp             -0.22  +0.03  <.PS   -0.12  -3.93
 ines                              I>            
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   +0.25  -2.57  <.KS    1.06   8.92
          C>                       11>           
 Singapo             +0.00  -0.86  <.ST    0.60   3.20
 re                                I>            
 Taiwan              +0.04  +0.37  <.TW    0.07   7.05
                                   II>           
 Thailan             -0.10  -0.13  <.SE   -0.01   2.53
 d                                 TI>           
 

 (Editing by Devika Syamnath)
  
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