Jan 21 (Reuters) - Indonesia's rupiah edged higher and
shares fell after the country's central bank left interest rates
unchanged, while South Korean and Taiwanese shares surged on
strong export readings from both the tech-reliant economies.
    Bank Indonesia (BI), which had cut borrowing costs five
times last year to support a pandemic-hit economy, left its key
policy rate at a record low of 3.75% and said the rupiah
was still undervalued and had room to strengthen.
    A majority of analysts in a Reuters poll had expected the
central bank to keep rates steady to maintain an attractive
interest rate differential on its high-yielding debt, given the
recent rise in U.S. bond yields. 
    "The string of rate reductions in 2020 have yet to bear
fruit," said Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING. 
    "We believe BI will remain open to easing policy further in
the near-term should inflation remain subdued with IDR stability
likely the main decision point."
    The rupiah was up 0.3% after the decision, while
shares in Jakarta traded 0.3% lower. 
    Most other emerging Asian stock markets and currencies
strengthened as optimism about the new U.S. administration's
hefty spending plans drove buying of riskier assets and dented
the dollar's safe-haven appeal.
    The Malaysian ringgit and South Korean won
advanced 0.3% and 0.2% each against the greenback. 
    South Korean shares extended gains to a third
straight session, while Taiwanese stocks closed up more
than 2% at an all-time high. 
    Data showed South Korea's exports expanded at a much faster
pace in the first 20 days of January, and Taiwan's export orders
hit a record high in 2020.
    South Korea and Taiwan have witnessed a strong rebound in
exports as the pandemic-driven global shift to remote work
spurred demand for memory chips used in laptops and servers. The
KOSPI and Taiwan stocks have risen more than 9% each this month.
    "If global fiscal stimulus and the contact-free
digitalisation trend continues post-COVID, Korea's IT,
semiconductor and auto exports could outperform market
expectations," analysts at Standard Chartered wrote in a note.
    Indian shares jumped to a record high and the benchmark
Sensex scaled the 50,000 level for the first time,
boosted by heavyweight Reliance Industries after the
country's stock exchanges approved a $3.4 billion deal with the
Future Group.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 2.3 basis
points at 6.298%
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Jardine
Matheson Holdings Ltd up 2.67% at S$57.71, Jardine
Cycle & Carriage Ltd up 2.39% at S$23.09
    ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include
Duta Intidaya Tbk PT down 6.99% at 346 rupiah; Sumber
Global Energy Tbk PT down 6.97% at 935 rupiah
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                      
 currencies at   0818 GMT                               
 COUNTRY   FX RIC           FX     FX    INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                       DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY   YTD %
                                                     %  
 Japan                   +0.00  -0.27             0.82    4.78
 China                   -0.02  +0.99             1.07    4.27
 India                   +0.10  +0.14             0.67    5.45
 Indonesi                +0.29  +0.43            -0.25    7.27
 a                                                      
 Malaysia                +0.29  -0.29            -0.39   -1.96
 Philippi                -0.01  -0.09            -0.04    0.01
 nes                                                    
 S.Korea                 +0.19  -1.09             1.49   10.00
 Singapor                +0.00  -0.27             0.51    5.99
 e                                                      
 Taiwan                  +0.15  +0.39             2.20    9.65
 Thailand                +0.10  +0.03             0.00    4.58

SOURCE : https://www.reuters.com/article/emerging-markets-asia/emerging-markets-rupiah-inches-up-shares-fall-as-bank-indonesia-stands-pat-idUSL4N2JW2BG