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EMERGING MARKETS-Taiwan stocks drop on prolonged virus curbs; U.S. inflation data in focus

    * Thailand kickstarts vaccination drive
    * U.S. payrolls data below expectations
    * China May export growth misses expectations 

    June 7 (Reuters) - Taiwan shares fell on Monday as the
country extended COVID-19 restrictions for another two weeks,
while Asia's emerging currency markets largely held steady as
investors await key U.S. inflation data later this week. 
    South Korea's won and India's rupee,
however, outperformed the region's currencies that traded flat
to slightly higher after U.S. payrolls on Friday missed
expectations and eased worries over early tapering of policy
support from the Federal Reserve. 
    Attention now turns to a U.S. inflation report on Thursday
for further signals.
    "A higher-than-expected U.S. CPI could add to the pattern of
building price pressures amid the recovery and put the spotlight
back on tapering talks," Barclays said in a note, forecasting a
4.8% year-on-year rise in the consumer price index (CPI) and a
0.41% month-on-month rise in May.
    It added that "more robust indications of a tapering
discussion by the Fed imply risks of a dollar bounce."
    Taiwan stocks recovered some ground from a sharp
2.1% fall early in the session, closing 0.4% lower, after the
island extended COVID-19 restrictions until June 28 to battle a
surge in infections.
    However, the equity market has rallied more than 10% from
May lows after the initial bout of infections prompted curbs as
officials looked to ease concerns that the export-focused
economy will be hit.
    Thailand, another country hit hard by the pandemic,
kick-started its long-awaited mass vaccination drive on Monday
and is prepping plans to reopen to vaccinated foreign visitors
in what could be a big boost to an economy reliant on tourism.

    Stocks climbed 0.6% while the baht gained
0.3%
    In China, the yuan and blue-chip stocks
dipped after export growth slowed more than expected in May.

    "The pandemic-induced surge in demand for Chinese exports
appears to be losing momentum and should reverse as global
consumption patterns normalise on the back of vaccine rollouts
and easing restrictions," Capital Economics Senior China
Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard said.
    Markets in Malaysia were closed for a public holiday. 
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Taiwan to quarantine workers to control COVID spike at
tech firm
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields down 2.5 basis
points to 1.745%​​
    ** China's three-child policy unlikely to boost birthrate -
Moody's​​    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at   0630 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.02    -5.69           0.27     5.74
 China                    -0.11    +1.97           0.10     3.53
 India                    +0.30    +0.39           0.39     12.51
 Indonesia                +0.15    -1.60           0.00     1.44
 Malaysia                 -        -2.57           -        -3.00
 Philippines              +0.03    +0.72           -0.48    -5.26
 S.Korea                  +0.32    -2.40           0.37     13.18
 Singapore                -0.03    -0.25           0.78     11.66
 Taiwan                   +0.08    +2.83           -0.37    15.96
 Thailand                 +0.26    -3.88           0.61     11.86
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Simon Cameron-Moore and Ramakrishnan M.)
  
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