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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks advance on U.S. spending plan, regional factory data

    * Taiwan, Malaysia, S.Korean stocks gain 0.5%
    * Indonesia's rupiah falls as much as 0.5%
    * Singapore Exchange explores joining SPAC party 

    By Nikhil Nainan
    April 1 (Reuters) - Asia's emerging stock markets made small
gains on Thursday, supported by surveys showing higher
production across Asia's factories last month, and the filip
given to Wall Street by the U.S. government's $2 trillion
spending plan .
    Gains throughout the region were capped at around half a
percent with stocks in Taiwan, Malaysia and
South Korea leading the way ahead of a long weekend for
many.
    "With much of Asia Pacific on holiday tomorrow, activity is
somewhat muted," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst
for Asia Pacific at OANDA. 
    The U.S. plan, outlined by President Joe Biden on Wednesday,
follows the recent $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, and if
passed would add further fuel to the U.S. economy.
    Uncertainty around its passing, however, kept already
elevated U.S. 10-year bond yields from pushing much
higher and Asia's emerging currencies were flat to slightly
higher. 
    The pressure on the region's risk-sensitive currency and
bond markets is unlikely to abate, though, as the U.S. economy
looks set to outpace the global recovery thanks as the
coronavirus vaccination campaign restores confidence and cheap
money is likely to be available for some time.
    A poll by Reuters found that battered emerging market
currencies will only pare some of their recent steep losses over
the coming year, with those analysts adding that the sell-off
was likely in the next three months.
    The rupiah, one of the highest yielders in emerging
markets, lost as much as 0.5% before recovering slightly as
trading went on. Stocks were down around a quarter of a
percent. 
    Indonesia raised 15.02 trillion rupiah from an additional
bonds auction on Wednesday. Recent auctions have been weak due
to higher U.S. yields, driving capital away from emerging
markets.
    "The amount of the latest conventional bonds sold was still
below target. If there is no turnaround in bond market sentiment
over the next few weeks, the government probably needs to
embrace the higher funding costs," OCBC bank analysts said. 
    Surveys showing Asia's factories stepped up production in
March also supported sentiment.
    Markets in the Philippines were closed. Most markets across
Asia will be shut on Friday.     
    
    HIGHLIGHTS: 
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields rose 3.30 basis
points to 6.847%
    ** Supermax Corp Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd
 led gains in Malaysia
    ** Singapore Exchange explores joining SPAC party but with
restrictions
    ** Singapore c.bank seen on hold on growth risks from
COVID-19 - Reuters Poll    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at   0336 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.10    -6.65           1.15     7.54
 China                    -0.24    -0.60           0.20     -0.70
 India                    +0.00    -0.05           0.00     5.07
 Indonesia                -0.21    -3.51           -0.26    -0.16
 Malaysia                 +0.14    -2.88           0.49     -2.82
 Philippines              +0.08    -1.07           -1.57    -9.76
 S.Korea                  +0.24    -3.80           0.53     7.11
 Singapore                -0.08    -1.84           0.20     11.53
 Taiwan                   -0.04    -0.20           0.47     12.05
 Thailand                 -0.06    -4.19           0.31     9.85
 

 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Simon Cameron-Moore)
  
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