EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks, FX gain on dovish Fed, Biden's stimulus plans

    * Graphic: World FX rates
    * Asian stock markets:
    * Weaker dollar pushes Asian currencies higher
    * Thai stocks hit three-week high, baht firms
    * Philippine stocks reverse early losses

    By Harish Sridharan
    April 29 (Reuters) - Asian shares and currencies rose on
Thursday, as the dollar slipped to a near nine-week low after
the U.S Federal Reserve maintained a dovish outlook and
President Joe Biden proposed an $1.8 trillion stimulus package.
    U.S Treasury yields fell overnight, pulling the dollar along
with it, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said "it is not time yet"
to begin discussing any change in policy and quashed speculation
on early tapering of asset buying.
    "Asian currencies are seeing relief gains on the back of the
Fed's sanguine outlook on inflation, which implies that U.S.
monetary policy is likely to remain accommodative and supportive
of inflows into Asia," said Chang Wei-Liang, macro strategist
(forex and credit) at DBS Bank.
    Asian currencies including the Indian rupee and the
Indonesian rupiah strengthened 0.44% and 0.24%,
respectively. The South Korean won rose 0.43% to
touch its strongest level in more than two months. 
    "In the near term... Asia-Pacific EM currencies may continue
to push higher against the greenback," said Daniel Dubrovsky,
strategist at DailyFX. He, however, added that a downturn in
sentiment could revive demand for the safe-haven dollar
    "A key risk for these currencies, such as the Indonesian
rupiah, Malaysian ringgit and Indian rupee, is rising borrowing
costs from the United States. This would make the repayment of
foreign debt more difficult."
    Stocks in Asia gained on Fed's dovish stance, with most
markets trading in the positive territory.
    Indian shares gained in volatile trading, as
investors looked ahead to quarterly earnings even as the country
posted a record rise in coronavirus cases and deaths over the
last 24 hours, with overall caseload rising above 18 million.

    Markets in Malaysia were closed on account of a local
    Thailand's finance ministry cut the country's economic
growth forecast to 2.3% from the 2.8% growth it projected
earlier, as the country continues to face the brunt of a third
wave of coronavirus infections.
    The benchmark stock index, however, extended gains
from the previous day and scaled a more than three-week peak,
while the baht rose 0.42%.    
    Stocks in Manila reversed to positive territory,
after falling as much as 0.8% in early trading, with utilities
and technology stocks leading gains. 

    ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include
Autocorp Holding PCL, up 29.6%
    ** Top gainer on the Jakarta stock index was Agro
Yasa Lestari PT Tbk, up 33.8%
    ** The biggest gainers on the NSE index were JSW Steel Ltd
 and Bajaj Finserv Ltd, up 5.67% and 5.06%,

  Asia stock indexes and                                       
 currencies at   0735 GMT                                 
                           DAILY  YTD %            DAILY  S YTD
                               %                       %      %
 Japan                     -0.21  -5.13             0.21   5.87
 China                     +0.16  +0.93             0.52   0.05
 India                     +0.44  -1.30             0.30   6.63
 Indonesia                 +0.24  -2.90             0.64   0.57
 Philippines               +0.19  -0.69             0.28  -9.13
 S.Korea                   +0.43  -1.99            -0.23  10.46
 Singapore                 +0.02  -0.29             0.09  13.31
 Taiwan                    -0.04  +1.91             0.00  19.24
 Thailand                  +0.42  -4.04             0.91   9.78

 (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi