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EMERGING MARKETS-Currencies, stocks mixed after China, U.S. data; Thai baht hits 2-wk high

    * Thai baht firms as much as 0.8%
    * Singapore dollar set to add half a percent over the week
    * China posts record GDP growth in Q1

    By Sameer Manekar
    April 16 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies and share
markets were largely mixed on Friday as investors took stock of
key economic data from the United States and China, while the
Thai baht stood out with gains as it resumed trade after a
three-day break.
    In Russia, government bonds recouped some losses as
investors considered news of U.S. sanctions targeting the
country's sovereign debt. The rouble opened 0.1% weaker
against the dollar after tumbling 2% on Thursday.

    The Thai baht firmed nearly a percent and hit a
two-week high as the dollar dipped. The currency, however, could
face pressure in the near-term on the back of a record rise in
new COVID-19 cases and virus curbs in Thailand.
    "Even if the U.S. dollar remains sideways or slightly
weaker, Thai baht could weaken further due to worsening COVID-19
situation which is likely to lead to more stringent lockdown
measures," said Poon Panichpibool, markets strategist at Krung
Thai Bank.
    "In this scenario, I expect some selling pressures on Thai
risky assets such as stocks and some hospitality-related REITs,
which could lead to some fund outflows."
    Many regional stock markets were unable to join a global
rally, as upbeat U.S. retail sales and manufacturing data as
well as record first-quarter economic growth in China were
offset by worries over rising infections.

    Equities in the Philippines, Malaysia and
Indonesia slipped between 0.2%-0.8%.
    In Singapore, the local dollar was off 0.2% but
remained on track to firm about half a percent for the week.
Stocks rose 0.4% to a one-week high after data showed the
city-state's exports expanded in March.
    U.S. Treasury yields continued to retreat as markets
focussed on the Federal Reserve's insistence of maintaining
monetary support for an extended period.
    "The lower UST nominal yields render some Asian
local-currency government bonds more attractive, which shall
extend the stabilization recently seen in the IndoGB and
Malaysian government securities markets," analysts at OCBC Bank
said in a note to clients.
    Indonesia's 10-year benchmark yields are at
6.538% after losing more than 36 basis points earlier in April,
while Malaysia's 10-year yields edged up from a
six-week low hit earlier in the month.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:    
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields fall 5.8 basis points
to 6.511%
    ** Consumer and real estate firms top losers in the
Philippine bourse
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                            
 currencies at   0445 GMT                      
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX    FX  INDE  STOCK  STOCK
                     DAILY   YTD     X      S  S YTD
                         %     %        DAILY      %
                                            %  
 Japan               -0.08  -5.1  <.N2  0.12   8.13
                               4  25>          
 China    <CNY=CFX   -0.11  -0.0  <.SS   0.46  -1.68
          S>                   1  EC>          
 India               +0.29  -2.2  <.NS   0.59   4.90
                               0  EI>          
 Indones             +0.07  -3.7  <.JK  -0.06   1.62
 ia                            7  SE>          
 Malaysi             -0.05  -2.5  <.KL  -0.35  -1.51
 a                             5  SE>          
 Philipp             +0.23  -0.7  <.PS  -0.68  -9.02
 ines                          4  I>           
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   -0.01  -2.8  <.KS  -0.08  11.08
          C>                   2  11>          
 Singapo             -0.07  -1.0  <.ST   0.26  12.29
 re                            8  I>           
 Taiwan              +0.12  +0.4  <.TW   0.02  15.93
                               7  II>          
 Thailan             +0.70  -4.1  <.SE   0.31   6.67
 d                             9  TI>          
 

 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
  
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