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EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesia stocks rise ahead of c.bank meet, Asian currencies up

    * BI expected to maintain rates at record low, meeting at
0700 GMT
    * Taiwan stocks hit two-week high
    * Singapore's GDP grows 1.3% year-on-year, shares rise

    By Harish Sridharan
    May 25 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares rose more than 1% on
Tuesday ahead of a   central bank policy meeting, while the
rupiah and broader Asian currencies gained on the back of a
weaker U.S dollar and a drop in U.S Treasury yields.
    Equities in Taiwan and South Korea took
their cue from a jump on Wall Street, with the latter gaining as
much as 2% and hitting a two-week high. The strong U.S. session
also gave an added boost to Indonesia stocks, which
climbed 1.4%. 
    Southeast Asia's largest economy has struggled to regain
momentum lost in the previous year when the COVID-19 pandemic
erupted, despite record-low interest rates and capital
injections. Bank Indonesia (BI) is expected to keep its key
policy rate at all-time lows
    The rupiah, favoured by foreign investors looking to
tap Indonesia's high-yielding bonds, has come under renewed
pressure amid capital outflows. It tacked on 0.1% on Tuesday. 
    "Despite the growth backdrop being weak and even with
subsequent waves of COVID-9 infections hurting domestic demand,
BI will prioritise macro-stability at its meeting, as it has in
the past few months," an analyst at Mizuho Bank said in a note. 
    However, he noted that for now BI remains largely tied to
loose policy given the risks to outlook.
    Asia's other emerging currencies found support from a
pullback in the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields after officials
from the Federal Reserve reaffirmed a commitment to maintain
loose monetary policy, brushing off recent hints of tapering
bond purchases amid fears over high inflation.
 
    Stocks in Thailand and Philippines gained
0.7% and 0.3%, respectively, while the South Korean won
 strengthened 0.5%. 
    Equities in Singapore advanced as much as 0.7%,
hitting two-week highs, after the country maintained its growth
forecast for 2021.
    The city-state's economy grew 1.3% in the first quarter
year-on-year, expanding more than first thought as it benefited
from improved manufacturing and wholesale trade.
    Stocks in Taiwan were the top gainers in the region
and the currency was among the best. 
    The country's industrial production for April marked the
15th consecutive month of year-on-year growth, even as it
battles a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.
    "Sustained growth in domestic and external demand will
continue to support Taiwan's industrial production moving
forward. However, recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the country
increases concern over the upcoming economic performance due to
heightened state of restrictions," said MIDF Research.  
         
HIGHLIGHTS:    
    ** Top gainer on the Jakarta stock index was Graha
Layar Prima Tbk PT, up 25%
    ** Top gainer on the Singapore STI was Genting
Singapore Ltd, up 2.47
    ** Min Aik Technology Co Ltd and Ampacs Corp
 top gainers on the Taiwan SE Weighted Index
    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at                           
  0352 GMT                                                 
 COUNTRY      FX RIC          FX     FX     INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                           DAILY  YTD %             DAILY   YTD %
                               %                        %  
 Japan                     +0.03  -5.03              -       -
 China                     +0.13  +1.82              1.60    2.31
 India                     +0.00  +0.14              0.62    9.37
 Indonesia                 +0.11  -2.05              1.40   -2.25
 Malaysia                  +0.10  -2.90              0.00   -3.40
 Philippines               -0.10  -0.12              0.32  -13.38
 S.Korea                   +0.45  -3.19              0.79   10.29
 Singapore                 +0.02  -0.47              0.49   10.38
 Taiwan                    +0.36  +2.27              1.69   12.77
 Thailand                  +0.06  -4.37              0.74    7.87
 
 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
  
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