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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks, FX gain as Fed rate hike bets ease; peso falls

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
    * Dollar weakens after U.S. jobs data
    * Peso underperform Asian FX ahead of inflation data
    * Indonesia stocks drop on COVID-19 woes

    By Anushka Trivedi
    July 5 (Reuters) - Most Asian stocks and currencies edged up
on Monday, showing signs of easing volatility as investors
scaled back expectations of an immediate withdrawal of Federal
Reserve stimulus following a mixed batch of U.S. jobs data. 
    The dollar backed down from three-month highs after
rate hike bets ebbed, pressured by the weaker aspects of the
U.S. nonfarm payrolls report where the unemployment rate for
June rose, even as the number of jobs added beat forecast.

    Previously-battered local currencies firmed in response,
with the Indonesian rupiah, South Korean won
and the Indian rupee advancing 0.3% to 0.5%.
    Among equities, Taiwan's bourse jumped 1% while
South Korea, the Philippines and Singapore's
markets made modest gains of around 0.4% each.
    "Overall, market sentiment starts this week on a more
positive footing," OCBC analysts said in a note, adding that a
more consistent outperformance on the labour front would be
needed to price in for Fed expectations.
    "That may come through only towards the end of third-quarter
of 2021."
    The Fed's surprising hawkish tilt last month spooked Asian
markets with the prospect that the central bank's unwinding of
bond-buying programme and sooner-than-expected rate hikes could
lead to outflows from emerging markets.
    Trading was thin as U.S. markets remain closed for the
extended 4th of July weekend. Investors now await the minutes of
Federal Open Markets Committee June meeting on Wednesday for
more clues on tapering. 
    The Philippine peso eased 0.4% to underperform its
peers a day before the monthly inflation report, which is likely
to exceed the central bank's target range for a sixth time
despite some deceleration in prices.
    Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING, said recent
economic data continues to point to a sluggish pace of recovery
amid recession and virus curbs in the country, which is keeping
the peso on the back foot.
    Pandemic-hit Indonesia's stocks dropped 0.5% after
posting its biggest daily jump in deaths from coronavirus,
fuelling doubts about the timeline of lifting of curbs in the
country.
    
HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are up around 3.6
basis points at 4.755%
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Wilmar
International Ltd, up 1.8%, and Keppel DC REIT
, up 1.6% 
    ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are DMCI Holdings
Inc, up 2.2%, and JG Summit Holdings Inc, up
1.9% 

 Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0657 GMT                                          
 COUNTRY       FX RIC       FX DAILY %   FX YTD %    INDEX   STOCKS DAILY %   STOCKS YTD
                                                                                       %
 Japan                           +0.05      -6.97                     -0.64         4.20
 China                           +0.19      +1.06                      0.23         1.55
 India                           +0.50      -1.75                      0.68        13.22
 Indonesia                       +0.37      -3.01                     -0.53         0.20
 Malaysia                        +0.19      -3.23                     -0.27        -6.03
 Philippines                     -0.30      -2.52                      0.49        -1.45
 S.Korea                         +0.28      -4.03                      0.35        14.61
 Singapore                       +0.10      -1.83                      0.17        10.21
 Taiwan                          +0.34      +2.10                      1.18        21.63
 Thailand                        +0.16      -6.81                      0.00         8.91
 
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
Kuber)
  
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