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EMERGING MARKETS-Thai baht leads Asian FX higher, Philippine stocks at 20-month high on GDP surprise

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    * Philippine stocks up for 6th session
    * Thai baht hits 2-month high
    * Taiwan stocks lead equity gains, up 0.8%

    By Arundhati Dutta
    Nov 9 (Reuters) - The Thai baht led gains among emerging
Asian currencies on Tuesday as the dollar dipped ahead of U.S.
inflation data, while Philippine shares rose as the country's
economic growth slowed less-than-expected in the third quarter.
    Broadly, Asian currencies gained with Wednesday's inflation
print expected to show a large rise in prices, and the Federal
Reserve's indication that it will taper bond purchases has left
some feeling the pace of rate normalisation will be more
    Asia's central banks have also kept rates steady so far, to
support their pandemic-hit economies. 
    "With cautious optimism on growth outlook intact, patience
on global policy normalisation and yields easing off, there may
be room for selective AXJs (Axia ex-Japan) including Indian
rupee, Thai baht, Philippine peso, and S.Korean
Won to recover, " Maybank analysts said
    The baht gained 0.7%, and was at its strongest in
nearly two months. The currency has benefited lately from the
country's reopening of its key tourism sector and falling
COVID-19 infections. 
    Thailand's central bank is expected to leave rates unchanged
at its policy meeting on Wednesday.
    Further north, Taiwan's dollar, the Philippine peso
 and South Korean won gained between 0.1% and
    In equities, the Philippines extended gains to a
sixth session, adding 0.6% to hit a 20-month high after data
showed its economy grew 7.1% in the third quarter, easily
beating forecasts of 4.8%. 
    Despite growth being slower than the prior quarter, it puts
the country on course to meet its target this year.
    "The improving health situation and a pick-up in the
vaccination rate augur well for growth in the coming quarters,"
ANZ Research analysts said in a note, referring to the
    "We also do not expect any let-up in policy support to
growth, particularly as inflation has softened of late," they
    Elsewhere the picture was more mixed, with stocks in
Singapore and Malaysia down 0.5% and 0.7%,
    **Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is down 1.2 basis
points at 1.714%
    **Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is up 2 basis points at
    **Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 2.3 basis
points at 6.155%
 Asia stock indexes and currencies at   0718 GMT      
 COUNTRY      FX          FX       FX      INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.34    -8.51            -0.75    6.71
 China                    -0.01    +2.11            0.24     0.98
 India                    -0.02    -1.30            -0.24    28.91
 Indonesia                +0.14    -1.37            0.33     11.29
 Malaysia                 +0.06    -3.14            -0.72    -6.32
 Philippines              +0.08    -4.08            0.61     4.23
 S.Korea                  +0.50    -7.73            0.08     3.10
 Singapore                +0.13    -1.84            -0.51    14.19
 Taiwan                   +0.34    +2.65            0.72     19.07
 Thailand                 +0.73    -8.57            0.16     12.38
 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
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