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EMERGING MARKETS-Rupee sees best week in 2 years as investors weigh Fed message

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Rupee hits highest level since March 5
    * Asia FX gain on lower U.S. rate prospects

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    Aug 28 (Reuters) - India's rupee rose for the fourth session
in five on Friday as traders reported no sign of a return of
central bank selling, leading gains across Asia against the
dollar following a landmark speech by U.S. Federal Reserve chief
Jerome Powell.
    There was some strength for the dollar overnight as 10-year
U.S. bond yields pushed higher after Powell's message that the
central bank would allow inflation to run higher and do more to
get it there in future. 
    But it struggled throughout the Asian morning and currencies
including the Singapore and Taiwan dollars, as
well as China's yuan, all traded a third of a percent
or more higher. 
    The rupee has been surging since Monday, when the
Reserve Bank of India appeared to halt its recent policy of
intervening heavily in the market against the currency, and hit
its highest in nearly six months on Friday, on course for its
best week since late December 2018. 
    Traders said they expected the bank to return to the market
soon, however, in part to ensure it builds more forex reserves,
$60 billion to $535.35 billion so far this fiscal
year.
    "The RBI must have let the currency appreciate to shatter
the complacency but this may not be the case going forward and
we might see the central bank again coming into action," said
Gaurang Somaiya, an FX analyst at Mumbai-based broker and
trading firm Motilal Oswal Financial Services. 
    The Indonesian rupiah took back early losses to trade
0.2% higher, while the Philippine peso also rose against
the greenback.
    The jump in U.S. bond yields, however, capped flows into
riskier Asian assets, with yields on long-dated government bonds
for Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia
 all higher. 
    Shares in Jakarta took a beating, as the country
reported its biggest daily spike in coronavirus infections.
    Singapore shares snapped two sessions of losses,
boosted by gains in the heavyweight financial sector, while
Malaysian shares moved little on better-than-expected
export data.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are
up 6 basis points at 1.47%, while Indonesian 10-year benchmark
yields are up 6.4 basis points at 6.873%
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Singapore
Airlines Ltd up 2.75% at S$3.73, SATS Ltd up
2.39% at S$3, Keppel Corp Ltd up​ 2.19% at S$4.67
    ** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index
include Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd down 3.55% at 7.6
ringgit; PETRONAS Chemicals Group Bhd down 3.27% at
5.62 ringgit; MISC Bhd down 2.84% at 7.54 ringgit
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                    
 currencies at   0710 GMT                             
 COUNTRY   FX RIC        FX     FX      INDEX  STOCK  STOCKS
                      DAILY  YTD %                 S   YTD %
                          %                    DAILY  
                                                   %  
 Japan                +0.47  +2.41             -1.41   -3.27
 China     <CNY=CFXS  +0.38  +1.38              1.51   11.50
           >                                          
 India                +0.55  -2.76              0.79   -4.26
 Indonesi             +0.10  -5.16             -0.65  -15.28
 a                                                    
 Malaysia             +0.00  -1.94             -0.64   -2.77
 Philippi             +0.38  +4.68             -0.63  -24.71
 nes                                                  
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFTC  +0.06  -2.36              0.40    7.10
           >                                          
 Singapor             +0.30  -1.26              1.22  -20.86
 e                                                    
 Taiwan               +0.52  +2.55             -0.53    6.10
 Thailand             +0.16  -4.04              0.18  -15.86
 
   

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Patrick Graham and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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