* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
* Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I
* S. Korea stocks hit highest since Jan. 27
* China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, U.S. markets shut
By Shashwat Awasthi
Feb 15 (Reuters) - Thailand stocks were on track for their best day in more than a month on Monday and Singapore shares jumped after the Southeast Asian economies contracted less than expected in the final quarter of 2020.
Across Asia, share markets began a data-heavy week on a firm footing amid optimism the rollout of coronavirus vaccines globally will speed up economic recovery. MKTS/GLOB
Thailand's SETI index .SETI jumped 1.3%, the most since Jan. 8. The baht THB=TH traded flat as the country trimmed its growth outlook for 2021. tourism-reliant nation was hit hard last year as the pandemic led to international travel restrictions and a COVID-19 outbreak in December has dealt a further blow to prospects for a speedy recovery.
Thailand's fourth-quarter GDP data could indicate the "worst is over", but Monday's jump in stocks is also partly down to steep, single-stock moves, said Poon Panichpibool, a market strategist at Krung Thai Bank.
"I think the market just follows hype on some stocks like PTT Oil and Retail Business... or Delta Electronics which benefits from up-cycle in semiconductor/IC sectors," Panichpibool said.
PTT Oil and Retail Business OR.BK , which soared almost 50% in its market debut last week, was up almost 20%. Shares of Delta DELTA.BK surged 19%.
Despite a lower 2021 growth forecast, Panichpibool said he does not expect the Bank of Thailand to cut record low interest rates further in the near term.
Stocks in Singapore .STI jumped as much as 0.7% and the dollar SGD= firmed after the city-state too reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP. were also looking ahead to Singapore's 2021 budget, due on Tuesday, for guidance on fiscal policy.
"Domestic policy concerns pertaining to an uneven and protracted recovery trajectory will likely feature prominently in the budget announcement tomorrow," said Selena Ling, head of research and strategy at OCBC Bank.
South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 scaled a near three-week high and the won KRW=KFTC gained for the fourth straight day after the country's exports during the first 10 days of February surged 69.1% from a year earlier. in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. U.S. stock markets will be closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.
** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are up 7 basis points at 1.38%
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0722 GMT
FX DAILY %
FX YTD %
INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD %
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.