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EMERGING MARKETS-Cautious Asian FX anchored by strong yuan ahead of U.S. election

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I
    * China's recovery shielding Asian FX from virus woes
-analyst
    * Yuan's 0.5% gain keeps most Asian FX afloat
    * Focus on Malaysia cenbank meet, 2021 budget next week
    * Indonesia, India shut on local holidays

    By Rashmi Ashok
    Oct 30 (Reuters) - Strong gains in the Chinese yuan
supported most Asian currencies on Friday, helping them escape a
broader risk-off mood that sent regional equities lower as
uncertainty ramped up ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
    Worries over the outcome of Tuesday's election has remained
to the fore, given the stark difference between Democratic
candidate Joe Biden and President Donald Trump's views on
foreign policy and trade, particularly towards Asia. 
    The Chinese yuan jumped 0.5% against the dollar,
which helped boost the closely tied Singapore dollar by
0.2% and the South Korean won 0.4%. 
    While cases are surging elsewhere, the COVID-19 situation in
Asia remains largely under control, with China's swift economic
recovery driving the resilience of the yuan and other Asian
currencies, said Sim Moh Siong, FX strategist at Bank of
Singapore.
    "The second factor is the U.S. elections. If Biden wins, and
polls are indicating he's in the lead, it could lead to a less
aggressive trade policy, further anchoring the yuan," he added.
    "For Asia, overall, the risk environment is going to be
cautious, but there's no panic."
    Reuters earlier reported Biden would immediately consult
with America's main allies before deciding on the future of U.S.
tariffs on China, which markets received positively.

    Export-sensitive currencies in Asia, primarily the yuan, the
won and the Taiwan dollar are set to clock firm gains
in October, up nearly 1% to 3.6% so far for the month. 
    Despite being shunned in recent weeks due to political
ructions and massive protests, the Thai baht is also on
track for a 1.6% monthly gain.
    Stock markets were subdued after Wall Street's sell-off, as
cases continued to surge in the United States. Expectations of
further lockdowns across Europe, following France and Germany's
moves earlier this week, also dented the mood.
    Philippine stocks bucked the regional trend to add
nearly 1%, after a sharp 2% decline the previous session.
    In the week ahead, Malaysia's central bank will meet on
Tuesday to decide on monetary policy, followed by the
government's 2021 budget presentation on Friday.
    The latter is seen as a key test to gauge the support the
prime minister holds in wake of recent political tensions, with
fears prevalent that the budget bill might not get through
parliament given the slim coalition majority his government
holds.
    Markets in Indonesia and India remained shut for local
holidays. 
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are Aboitiz Equity
Ventures Inc up 5.7% and JG Summit Holdings Inc
 up 3.07% 
    ** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index
include Axiata Group Bhd down 2.96% and Hong Leong
Financial Group Bhd down 2.31% 
    ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield was down 0.2 basis
points at 2.63%​​ while the 3-year benchmark yield was up 0.5
basis points at 1.76%​​ 

    
  Asia stock indexes and                               
 currencies at   0454 GMT                         
 COUNTRY  FX RIC       FX     FX    INDEX  STOCK  STOCK
                    DAILY  YTD %               S  S YTD
                        %                  DAILY      %
                                               %  
 Japan              +0.26  +4.09           -0.75  -2.11
 China    <CNY=CFX  +0.48  +4.18           -0.10   7.19
          S>                                      
 Malaysi            +0.00  -1.56           -0.82  -6.66
 a                                                
 Philipp            -0.01  +4.68            1.08  -19.1
 ines                                                 7
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT  +0.34  +2.55           -1.21   4.59
          C>                                      
 Singapo            +0.18  -1.47           -0.23  -24.1
 re                                                   4
 Taiwan             +0.04  +4.17           -0.33   5.20
 Thailan            +0.13  -4.13           -0.19  -24.0
 d                                                    8
 

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln
Feast.)
  
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