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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks, FX march higher as Biden edges closer to the White House

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Bets of Biden victory rise again
    * Philippine stocks lead gains
    * Indonesia's rupiah firms 1%

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Nov 5 (Reuters) - Stocks and currencies in Asia's emerging
markets firmed across the board on Thursday as Democrat Joe
Biden pulled ahead of Republican rival Donald Trump and was
within striking distance of securing a nail-biting U.S.
presidential election.
    Biden is widely seen as likely to be less combative on trade
policy and in relations with the region's growth engine China,
and investors hope that may clear the way for Asia's stronger
recovery from the coronavirus crisis to draw more investment. 
    In the short-term, however, analysts said a retreat for the
dollar was the bigger driver for the region's currencies, with
the Indonesian rupiah and Taiwan's dollar up 1%
and 1.5% respectively.
    China's yuan was marginally higher, while the
South Korean won, like Taiwan highly sensitive to any
easing of tensions in global trade relations, gained around
0.6%. 
    Elsewhere in major emerging markets, the Mexican peso
and Brazilian real, among the losers during Trump's time
in the White House, both surged overnight. 
    "A Biden victory is unlikely to result in a major change in
U.S. foreign policy short-term so more important is the
direction of the dollar, with a weaker dollar more supportive of
Asia & emerging market equities," Andrew Gillan, Head of Asia ex
Japan equities, Janus Henderson Investors, Singapore said.    
    Biden late on Wednesday predicted victory over Trump after
pivotal wins in Michigan and Wisconsin, while the Republican
incumbent sought to offset a narrowing path to re-election with
lawsuits and demands for a recount.
    Betting sites, often closely watched by financial market
players, now lean heavily towards Biden, although investors
continue to worry about the potential for weeks of court battles
that will delay any further fiscal support for a U.S. economy
struggling with the novel coronavirus.
    Gillan said the conclusion of the election might spur more
flows into the region's higher-yielding emerging markets as
money managers finally judge U.S. and other developed markets
overpriced. 
    "The U.S. elections might mark a turning point and a chance
for investors to reassess these fundamentals," he said. "The
relative valuations and the economic recovery in Asia would
certainly justify that shift."
    Most of the region's stock markets jumped over 1%, with
Singapore among the top gainers on the back of strong
quarterly results by the city-state's biggest lenders.

     Philippine stocks rallied 3% to outperform their
peers, while local bonds in Indonesia and Thailand
 saw inflows after U.S. Treasury yields tumbled
overnight. That was due to expectations that a divided Congress
weakens the chances of a massive stimulus package. 

HIGHLIGHTS
    
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 2.7 basis
points at 6.602%
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 3
basis points at 1.35%
    ** Singapore shares climb 2% to an over two-month high; DBS
Group and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp post
better than expected results 
    ** Indonesia Q3 GDP contracts 

           Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0346 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX     STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.21    +4.17            0.99     1.15
 China                    +0.05    +4.69            0.88     8.40
 India                    +0.00    -4.50            0.00     -2.14
 Indonesia                +0.97    -3.61            2.00     -17.34
 Malaysia                 +0.39    -1.45            1.04     -6.86
 Philippines              +0.01    +4.79            3.03     -14.78
 S.Korea                  +0.57    +2.22            1.66     9.04
 Singapore                +0.00    -0.97            2.05     -20.33
 Taiwan                   +1.51    +5.36            0.07     7.33
 Thailand                 +0.31    -3.62            1.33     -21.59
 
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick
Graham & Shri Navaratnam)
  
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