EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks drop, currencies firm as U.S. Senate vote goes down to the wire

    * Indonesia to impose more targeted COVID-19 curbs
    * Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia shares down 1%
    * Asian currencies firm vs weak dollar

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Jan 6 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares led declines in Asian
stock markets on Wednesday on new COVID-19 restrictions, while
currencies across the region eked out gains as the outcome of a
pivotal U.S. Senate election remained undecided.
    Jakarta's index tumbled as much as 2.4% after
two-week curbs were planned for the country's most populous
island of Java and in tourist hub Bali, starting Jan. 11, likely
putting more pressure on an ailing economy.
    Most Asian equities recovered from session lows, with Manila
stocks recouping from a steep 3% decline to end 1.2%
lower. Malaysia slipped 0.8% and Taiwan 0.1%,
after shedding more than 1% each earlier. 
    One of the two seats in the Senate election in Georgia was
called for a Democrat contestant, and the markets braced for a
"Blue wave" that would hand the party control of the chamber and
make it easier for incoming President Joe Biden to pass his
legislative agendas.
    "The market reaction appears to reflect the potential for
higher U.S. taxes and more regulation under a Democrat-held
Senate, though this will likely be mitigated by potential for
further and larger fiscal stimulus," said Mitul Kotecha, senior
EM strategist at TD Securities. 
    In the long-term, strengthening Asian growth outlook and
portfolio inflows should keep providing support to equities, he
    Foreign inflows into Asian markets accelerated in the
second-half of 2020, with Indian equities attracting $23
billion. South Korea faced the largest outflows, though the
trend changed by November, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.
    South Korea's KOSPI briefly broke above 3,000 for
the first time in early morning trade on Wednesday before giving
back gains to fall 0.8%, snapping a seven-day rally.
    Most Asian currencies firmed as the dollar deepened losses
on the prospects of a Democrat-controlled Senate encouraging
fiscal easing. 
    The Taiwan dollar surged 1.5%, outperforming its
peers, while the Malaysian ringgit, South Korean won
 and the Thai baht all advanced 0.2%. 
    Stronger U.S. fiscal stimulus should support global
recovery, thereby helping risk sentiment and weaken the dollar
which would lift the Asian currencies, said Wei Liang Chang, a
macro strategist at Singapore's DBS Bank.
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 6.5 basis
points at 6.063%​​  
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are GT Capital
Holdings Inc down 6.1% and DMCI Holdings Inc
down 5.1% 
    ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include
Trimegah Sekuritas Indonesia Tbk PT and Zebra
Nusantara Tbk PT, both down 7%

 Asia stock indexes and currencies at                                                           
 0736 GMT                                                                         
 Japan                           -0.01         +0.50                       -0.38           -1.41
 China                           -0.02         +1.11                        0.63            2.24
 India                           +0.11         -0.04                        0.05            1.61
 Indonesia                       +0.07         +1.08                       -1.34            1.27
 Malaysia                        +0.17         +0.32                       -1.13           -2.28
 Philippines                     +0.02         -0.06                       -1.21           -1.29
 S.Korea                         +0.18         +0.06                       -0.75            3.30
 Singapore                       +0.06         +0.31                        0.04            0.60
 Taiwan                          +1.51         +1.80                       -0.11            1.70
 Thailand                        +0.17         +0.23                       -0.12            3.83

 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, additional
reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)