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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippines leads Asian stocks higher on Wall Street boost

    * Philippine stocks rise 0.6%, after falling sharply on
Monday
    * U.S. 10-year bond yields pullback
    * Fed two-day meeting starts later 

    March 16 (Reuters) - The Philippines led most of Asia's
emerging stock markets higher on Tuesday on the back of record
highs for Wall Street's main indexes, although gains were capped
ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week.
    Stock market gains were generally below half a percent, with
only the Philippines slightly outperforming with a 0.6%
rise after a sharp fall in the previous session when a surge in
COVID-19 cases prompted new local restrictions. 
    A slight pullback in U.S. bond yields also supported
appetite for the region's currencies ahead of a two-day U.S.
central bank meeting ending on Wednesday where the focus will be
on any comments about the run-up in yields, which have risen on
bets of faster growth and inflation. 
    Yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries were trading
at 1.59%, off 13-month highs of 1.64% hit on Friday. A further
rise could sap appetite for higher-yielding emerging markets in
Asia.
    Asian market "gains may be limited ahead of the FOMC
(Federal Open Market Committee) meeting later this week," OCBC
Bank analysts said in a note. 
    Following the Fed statement, the central banks of Indonesia
and Taiwan will hold their policy meetings on Thursday. 
    The rupiah, which edged higher on Tuesday, has lost
more than 3% since Feb. 16, while Indonesia's benchmark 10-year
government bond yield has risen 51 basis points to
6.794%.
    Bank Indonesia is widely expected to keep rates unchanged,
according to a Reuters poll.
    Singapore shares, which have been trading at around
one-year highs, dipped on Tuesday. 
    Total employment in the city-state shrank the most in more
than two decades in 2020, data showed, with foreigners' jobs
accounting for most of the decline.
    Shanghai's composite index rose 0.2%, while South
Korean shares advanced 0.6%. 
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields up 3.59 basis points
at 6.794%
    ** Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Bank of the Philippine Islands
 and Ayala Corp rose the most 
    ** Malaysian palm oil producer FGV jumps nearly 25% after
surviving Felda's bid
    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at   0345 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    -0.03    -5.41           0.64     9.16
 China                    +0.04    +0.46           0.24     -1.30
 India                    +0.00    +0.82           0.00     6.78
 Indonesia                +0.03    -2.43           0.16     5.95
 Malaysia                 -0.04    -2.23           0.06     -0.33
 Philippines              -0.03    -1.06           0.59     -7.68
 S.Korea                  +0.49    -3.94           0.57     6.60
 Singapore                +0.14    -1.72           -0.14    9.07
 Taiwan                   +0.08    +0.93           0.13     10.44
 Thailand                 +0.03    -2.44           0.03     8.07
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by
Richard Pullin)
  
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