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EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysian shares set to snap 3-day losing streak, Asian FX subdued

    * Investors eye key central bank meeting in Indonesia
    * Philippine peso drops 0.3%
    * Singapore core inflation rises to 0.6% in April

    By Harish Sridharan
    May 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian equities recouped most of the
losses made last week to be the top performer among Asia's
emerging markets on Monday, although U.S. inflation concerns and
Chinese regulators' views on commodity prices kept investors on
the edge.
    Asian currencies were largely unchanged as the dollar pulled
slightly off last week's three-month lows. The Philippine peso
 dropped 0.3%.
    China's market regulators warned industrial metal firms to
maintain "normal market order" during talks over big jumps in
metals prices this year. It comes after the cabinet said it will
look to curb "unreasonable" price gains.
    "China talking about commodity regulation has provoked a
little bit of caution in markets," said Mitul Kotecha, Chief EM
Asia and Europe strategist at TD Securities.
    The country also announced a crackdown on mining and trading
of the largest cryptocurrency last week, as part of ongoing
efforts to prevent speculative and financial risks.
    "If we look back at the last 12 months, crypto has
correlated with Asian currencies. Maybe very tenuous and small,
but from a directional point of view, it gives you an
indication," he said.
    Malaysian shares gained 0.5%, recovering from a 1.3%
fall last week on record coronavirus cases and deaths. They are
set to snap a three-day losing streak.
    Shares in India gained 0.2%, as the country's daily
COVID-19 cases stayed below the 300,000-mark for more than a
week.
    Stocks in Singapore and Taiwan rose, although
they have lost 2.9% and 7%, respectively, so far this month as
rising number of COVID-19 cases forced their governments to
impose tighter restrictions on people's movement.
    Minutes from the Fed's April meeting last week suggested
that a sizable minority of policymakers were open to discuss
potentially tapering bond purchases, and Fed speakers this week
could shed further light on U.S. policy settings.
    In Indonesia, the rupiah was largely unchanged ahead
of Tuesday's monetary policy decision. 
    Bank Indonesia is expected to keep its key interest rate
steady at record lows, a Reuters poll found, as the rupiah faces
pressure from capital outflows and as the economy slowly
recovers from the pandemic.    
    Singapore's core inflation rate, the central bank's favoured
price measure, rose to 0.6% in April from a year earlier,
compared with 0.5% in the previous month. 


    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Top gainers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index
include Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd

    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Megaworld Corp
, down 5.59%
    ** The biggest gainers in the NSE index were Indian
Oil Corporation Ltd and State Bank of India 
        
  Asia stock indexes and                              
 currencies at   0658 GMT                        
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX     FX  INDE  STOCKS  STOCK
                     DAILY  YTD %     X   DAILY  S YTD
                         %                    %      %
 Japan               +0.19  -5.05  <.N2    0.17   3.35
                                   25>           
 China    <CNY=CFX   +0.02  +1.48  <.SS    0.21   0.60
          S>                       EC>           
 India               -0.10  +0.23  <.NS    0.24   8.80
                                   EI>           
 Indones             -0.03  -2.19  <.JK   -0.06  -3.50
 ia                                SE>           
 Malaysi             +0.02  -2.85  <.KL    0.48  -3.53
 a                                 SE>           
 Philipp             -0.20  +0.01  <.PS   -0.55  -13.6
 ines                              I>                5
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   -0.01  -3.63  <.KS   -0.38   9.43
          C>                       11>           
 Singapo             +0.08  -0.74  <.ST    0.26   9.92
 re                                I>            
 Taiwan              -0.03  +1.92  <.TW    0.22  10.90
                                   II>           
 Thailan             +0.06  -4.43  <.SE    0.12   7.24
 d                                 TI>           
 



 (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V)
  
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