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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares climb over 3%, most Asian currencies up

    * Philippine stocks hit highest since April 12
    * Thailand, Indonesia add over 1%
    * Thai baht leads gains in currencies

    By Arundhati Dutta
    May 27 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks jumped more than 3% on
Thursday, leading post-holiday gains in Southeast Asia and
recovering losses from May, while Asia's emerging currencies
edged higher.
    The Thai baht, the region's worst-performing
currency so far this year, strengthened 0.3% and led more muted
gains elsewhere, even as the dollar firmed overnight.
    The greenback, however, remains far from levels seen in late
March, as investors weigh the Federal Reserve's insistence that
policy will remain accommodative for some time. 
    "Even with the dollar bounce...major pairs are still kept
within established ranges," OCBC Treasury Research said in a
note. 
    "Some factors still stacked against the dollar. Fed tapering
expectations are still not being priced in. There is significant
U.S. data event risk in the coming sessions," referring to the
upcoming inflation print on Friday which could revive talk of
tapering if the reading is high.
    Philippine stocks, the region's worst-hit market,
climbed 3.2%, extending gains to a third session as investors
make up lost ground this year. The Philippines and the region
have been battered by the resurgence of the COVID-19 cases. 
    On Wednesday, the country said it would authorise Pfizer's
 COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in 12-15 year olds.

    Most of the region was shut on Wednesday for holidays.
Stocks in Indonesia added 1.2%.
    Thai stocks gained 1.2%, and reached their highest
level since May 11.
    Thailand has altered its coronavirus immunisation strategy
to target worst-hit areas and sectors where clusters are most
likely to emerge as it reported a record death toll on
Wednesday.
    On the downside, Taiwanese equities fell half a
percent, regaining ground as the island looks at more support
for business to overcome the pandemic.
    Taiwan is considering, according to sources, boosting a loan
facility to help small and medium sized firms with almost $20
billion available. 
    South Korea's central bank left monetary policy unchanged,
but upgraded its economic outlook, leading to concerns about an
end to its current accommodative stance.
    The benchmark stock index fell up to 0.8%, while the
won dipped.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 2.6 basis
points at 4.958%
    ** Philippine 3-year benchmark yield is unchanged at 2.5%
    ** Philippines top index gainers are JG Summit Holdings and 
Aboitiz Power Corp 
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at   0423 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.07    -5.34           -0.44    3.91
 China                    +0.09    +2.23           0.18     3.65
 India                    +0.00    +0.41           -0.05    9.38
 Indonesia                +0.17    -1.82           1.20     -1.56
 Malaysia                 -0.04    -2.93           0.07     -2.97
 Philippines              +0.21    -0.12           3.23     -8.32
 S.Korea                  -0.04    -2.79           -0.26    9.97
 Singapore                +0.09    -0.21           0.33     10.99
 Taiwan                   +0.13    +2.52           -0.57    12.33
 Thailand                 +0.29    -4.16           0.90     9.20
 
 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam
Holmes)
  
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