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BANGKOK: Malaysia’s ringgit pared losses on Wednesday after its central bank hiked its key interest rate for a second straight meeting, while Philippine shares hit a three-week high on Wednesday led by industrial companies.

Shares in Manila rose 2.1%, their highest level since June 15, and bucking the trend among stocks in the region, which fell on recession worries.

China’s foreign minister Beijing was ready to work with the new Philippines president to help usher in what he called a “new golden era” in the countries’ relationship.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian ringgit pared losses of 0.1% to trade flat after the central bank raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.25%, in its first consecutive hike in more than a decade.

“The fact that the central bank has not gone more ballistic with a 50 bps hike today speaks to the heavy preference for a gingerly approach in tightening, which is a prudent thing given the broad uncertainties on the global side with recession fears on the rise,” said Wellian Wiranto, an economist at OCBC Bank.

“Going forward, we see at least one more 25 bps hike from the central bank that will be seen as further normalization of policy rate rather than outright tightening.” The Philippine central bank may raise interest rates by an additional 100 basis points this year, its governor said on Wednesday, after data on Tuesday showed annual inflation hit a near four-year high in June.

The central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate by a total 50 basis points so far this year, and a cumulative 100 bps hike will bring the rate to 3.5%. Its next policy review is on Aug. 18.

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