EMERGING MARKETS-Taiwan dollar extends rally; most other Asian currencies strengthen

    * Graphic: World FX rates
    * Taiwan's stock and bond markets closed until Feb. 16
    * Thai, Indian, and Indonesia equities gain more than 1%

    By Shruti Sonal
    Feb 8 (Reuters) - The Taiwan dollar continued to rise
sharply on Monday, despite the country's central bank attempting
to crackdown on speculation around the currency, while most
other emerging Asian currencies also firmed against the U.S.
    The Taiwan dollar, the region's best-performing
currency in 2021 so far, strengthened more than 1.4% on Monday.
    Rising global demand for tech products from the island's
trade-dependent economy has propelled the currency to its
strongest in more than 23 years, against the U.S. dollar.
    On Sunday, the country's central bank said it had banned
Deutsche Bank from trading Taiwan dollar deliverable
and non-deliverable forwards and suspended it for two years from
trading forex derivatives.
    "We can see an official push-back but the reality is that
the flows are still very supportive of Taiwan dollar", said
Mitul Kotecha, Senior EM Strategist at TD Securities. 
    There will be a bit of a resistance, but it's hard to see
any reversal of gains in the currency, he said, adding that it
is also less sensitive to U.S. dollar's moves than peers in the
region, such as the South Korean won.
    Aiding the currency further, data showed Taiwan's January
exports rose by 36.8% from last year, much higher than the 15%
increase expected in a Reuters poll.
    Meanwhile, a weaker U.S. dollar helped the Thai baht
, Indonesian rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit
 gain between 0.1% and 0.4%.
    The dollar index weakened against a basket of six
major currencies, after falling 0.6% on Friday, as data at the
end of last week showed the U.S. economy created fewer jobs than
expected in January.
    However, analysts were cautious about the rally in emerging
Asian currencies, despite the recent risk-on mood in markets. 
    "Going forward, the dollar index will likely rebound along
with the rising 10-year U.S. treasury yield, considering the
U.S. economic recovery and Joe Biden's coronavirus relief
package", said Gao Qi, FX strategist for EM Asia at Scotiabank.
    "It means we could see the dollar's divergent performance
versus EM Asian currencies including the CNY, CNH and INR in the
coming weeks", he added.
    Most shares in the region climbed, tracking broader gains in
global equities, on hopes that a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid
package will be passed by U.S. lawmakers soon.
    Thailand, India, Singapore and
Indonesia added about 1% each.
    Volumes remained low ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in
most markets. Taiwan's stock and bond markets are closed
starting Monday until Feb. 16, while Chinese financial markets
will be closed for a week starting Feb. 11.
    ** EXCLUSIVE-Buyers shun major Malaysian palm oil producers
after forced labour allegations
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Singapore
Airlines Ltd, SATS Ltd, DBS Group Holdings
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are up 5 basis
points at 1.32%
  Asia stock indexes and                                
 currencies at   0814 GMT                         
                     DAILY  YTD %          DAILY   YTD %
                         %                     %  
 Japan               -0.12  -2.13  <.N22   2.12    7.08
 China    <CNY=CFX   +0.14  +1.10  <.SSE    1.03    1.71
          S>                       C>             
 India               +0.08  +0.28  <.NSE    1.29    8.12
 Indones             +0.18  +0.32  <.JKS    0.93    3.84
 ia                                E>             
 Malaysi             +0.14  -1.05  <.KLS   -0.12   -3.11
 a                                 E>             
 Philipp             +0.00  -0.06  <.PSI    0.08   -1.61
 ines                              >              
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   +0.37  -2.98  <.KS1   -0.94    7.58
          C>                       1>             
 Singapo             +0.02  -0.98  <.STI    0.98    3.23
 re                                >              
 Taiwan              +0.00  +0.33  <.TWI       -    7.26
 Thailan             +0.10  -0.23  <.SET    1.18    4.48
 d                                 I>             
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)