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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine stocks surge nearly 3%, Asian currencies lifted by weaker dollar

    * Philippine stocks set for best day since Feb. 1
    * S. Korean won, Taiwan dlr gain 0.3%
    * Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand closed

    By Arundhati Dutta
    May 26 (Reuters) - Philippine shares were headed for the
best day in nearly four months on Wednesday in light trading as
much of the region was closed for holidays, while a weaker U.S.
dollar lifted Asia's emerging currencies. 
    The South Korean won and Taiwan dollar
led the region's gains, rising 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively, as
the dollar wallowed around January lows. 
    U.S. Federal Reserve officials continue to insist that
monetary policy will stay accommodative despite inflationary
pressures, weighing on the dollar and U.S. Treasuries.
    The Philippine benchmark index climbed up 2.8%,
though trade volumes were about half their 30-day average. The
index hit its highest level since May 5.
    Large cap industrial and real estate stocks drove most of
the gains, with Megaworld Corp adding nearly 5%, while
Ayala Corp jumped 3.7%.    
    The Philippines has the worst-hit stock market in emerging
Asia this year, having lost nearly 11% in 2021 as of last close.
    Neighbouring Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand
were closed for a holiday. 
    Elsewhere, stocks in Taiwan inched higher. South
Korean shares, however, dipped. 
    Bank of Korea's rate decision is expected on Thursday, where
it is seen keeping interest rates at record lows for the rest of
2021 to combat COVID-19 uncertainties and worries about
financial imbalances offset signs of a broader economic
recovery. 
    
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Industrial and real estate sectors drive Philippine
shares higher 
    **Philippine 10-year benchmark yield is unchanged at 3.951%
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                  
 currencies at   0430 GMT                           
 COUNTRY   FX RIC          FX     FX  INDE  STOCKS  STOCKS
                      DAILY %  YTD %     X   DAILY   YTD %
                                                 %  
 Japan                  +0.00  -5.08  <.N2  #VALUE  #VALUE
                                      25>     !       !
 China     <CNY=CFXS    +0.27  +2.09  <.SS    0.29    3.42
           >                          EC>           
 India                      -  +0.41  <.NS    0.06    8.84
                                      EI>           
 Indonesi                   -  -1.99  <.JK       -   -2.73
 a                                    SE>           
 Malaysia                   -  -2.90  <.KL       -   -3.04
                                      SE>           
 Philippi               -0.02  -0.19  <.PS    2.61  -10.94
 nes                                  I>            
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFTC    +0.53  -2.68  <.KS   -0.19   10.16
           >                          11>           
 Singapor                   -  -0.17  <.ST       -   10.63
 e                                    I>            
 Taiwan                 +0.28  +2.46  <.TW    0.08   12.64
                                      II>           
 Thailand                   -  -4.43  <.SE       -    8.23
                                      TI>           
 
    


 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry
Doyle)
  
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