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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies ease after Trump tests positive for COVID-19

    * U.S. dollar edges higher after Trump tests positive
    * Malaysia stocks set to snap two straight weeks of gains
    * India, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan on holiday

    Oct 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian currencies dipped on
Friday as investors sought the perceived security of the dollar
after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19,
a month away from an election that could have long-lasting
implications for U.S. relations with China and the region.
    Early losses in Singapore and Indonesian
stock markets deepened after the news of Trump's positive test,
as stock markets globally took a hit from the additional
uncertainty it generated around November's vote.
    With major markets in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong
Kong all on holiday, the rupiah, ringgit and
Singapore's dollar were all down around 0.2% versus the
greenback. 
    "Markets have sold off in a knee-jerk reaction to the news,
which is understandable," said Khoon Goh, head Of Asia Research
at ANZ.
    "I imagine so long as it appears both the president and the
first lady are in reasonable condition, these market moves will
unwind."
    Stocks shed as much as 1.3% in Singapore and 1.8% in
Jakarta, while those in Malaysia and the
Philippines rose.
    FGV Holdings and other Malaysian palm oil
producers rose after falling sharply in the previous session,
when the United States blocked the entry of FGV's palm oil
products into the country over allegations of forced labour.
    Malaysia said it expected the United States to ban the
imports of another plantation firm.
    Sime Darby Plantation also flagged concern about a
possible ban. Its shares, however, were up after falling more
than 5% on Thursday. 
    Markets across the region, barring Thailand and
Malaysia, were slated to post weekly gains and the Philippines
was set to snap two straight weeks of losses.
    The Philippine central bank kept rates unchanged on Thursday
as expected as it waits for prior monetary stimulus to filter
through the economy, but approved $11 billion in funds for the
government.
    Many analysts still expect a cut in the fourth quarter, with
Goldman Sachs saying further COVID-19 curbs in the capital
Manila are hurting the third-quarter growth outlook.
    Philippine shares were up nearly 1%.

    HIGHLIGHTS: 
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 1.2 basis
points at 6.924%​​
    ** Malaysia expects U.S. import ban on second plantation
firm, after FGV barred
    ** Malaysia risks investment trouble as political drama
drags on
    
           Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0645 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                      +0.37  +3.33             -0.67   -2.65
 China                          -  +2.42                 -    5.51
 India                          -  -2.41                 -   -6.18
 Indonesia                  -0.20  -6.53             -1.24  -22.08
 Malaysia                   -0.24  -1.66              0.23   -5.58
 Philippines                -0.02  +4.52              0.92  -23.23
 S.Korea                        -  -1.12                 -    5.93
 Singapore                  -0.15  -1.48             -0.79  -23.02
 Taiwan                         -  +3.36                 -    4.32
 Thailand                   -0.03  -5.35             -1.16  -21.95
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana
Nicolaci da Costa and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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