By Roushni Nair
Sept 27 (Reuters) - Thailand's baht pared early losses on Wednesday, after the country's central bank surprised markets by unexpectedly raising interest rates for an eighth straight meeting, while other Asian currencies weakened on continued dollar strength.
The baht THB=TH, which was down as much as 0.7% before the rate decision, was 0.5% lower by 0715 GMT. The local unit is at its lowest level since Nov. 10, 2022. Stocks in Bangkok .SETI gave up 0.3%.
Eugenia Victorino, head of Asia strategy at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, said any gains in the Thai baht from the rate hike will be limited due to a delay in the projected recovery in tourist arrivals, adding that full recovery in Chinese outbound travel is only expected by mid-2024.
The baht, which has lost more than 1% so far this week, has been pressured by capital outflows largely due to wider rate differentials - the interest rate difference between two countries - and the prospects of a higher import bill if international crude oil prices keep surging. O/R
The rupee has been at risk of slipping to a record low against the U.S. dollar, but likely intervention from the central bank has kept it above an all-time low hit last October.
The recent surge in oil prices, which are up nearly 9% so far this month, has led to increased concerns over inflationary pressures in net importers such as Thailand and India.
The dollar index =USD last stood at 106.20, having hit a 10-month high of 106.26 on Tuesday. USD/
The Indonesian rupiah IDR= weakened as much as 0.4%, its lowest level since Jan. 11. The yield on Indonesia's benchmark 10-year bond ID10YT=RR was at 6.89%, its highest level since March 24.
Bucking the sombre mood, the Philippines peso PHP= appreciated as much as 0.4%, and was poised for its best session in nearly six weeks.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday rejected a proposal to reduce tariffs on imported rice as world prices of the grain are expected to go down. The country is one of the biggest importers of the staple.
Stocks in emerging Asia were largely mixed, with those in Malaysia .KLSE and Singapore .STI retreating 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively, while shares in the Philippines .PSI and Indonesia .JKSE advanced 1.8% and 0.4%, respectively.
** Thailand relaxes rules on non-resident baht transactions - cenbank
** China's industrial profits extend slump for Jan-Aug, but pace of downturn eases
** Indonesia c.bank remains in the market to ensure FX supply-demand balance - official
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0739 GMT
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Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
Asian stock markets https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)
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