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EMERGING MARKETS-Easing inflation fears, bond yields lift most Asian stocks higher

    * S. Korea shares climb after five sessions of falls
    * U.S. may label Taiwan a currency manipulator- c.bank gov
    * Investors eye ECB meeting later in the day
    * India, Indonesia closed for holiday

    By Shruti Sonal
    March 11 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian shares gained on
Thursday following positive cues from Wall Street
overnight as U.S. consumer price data soothed inflation fears
and Treasury yields eased, while regional currencies firmed
as the dollar nursed losses. 
     The South Korean benchmark climbed over 2% after
five consecutive sessions of declines, while Taiwan and
Singapore added 1.6% and 0.9% respectively. 
    South Korea's central bank warned that consumer inflation
could gain traction at a faster-than-expected pace.
    Regional currencies strengthened as the greenback fell after
inflation data and a decline in Treasury yields led some
investors to trim bets on a rapid rise in inflation. 
    The South Korean won climbed 0.6%, while the Thai
baht gained 0.4%. 
    The Taiwan dollar, among the best performing currencies in
the region this year, added 0.5% even as the country's central
bank governor said that the United States may label the island a
currency manipulator.
    The currency has rapidly appreciated on the back of booming
exports and a rebounding economy, and Taiwan's central bank
announced on Wednesday a large spike in its currency
intervention spending last year.
    Bucking regional gains in equities, Philippine shares
slid about 1.4%, with industrials and real estate stocks
weighing the most. 
    ING analyst Nicholas Mapa said Philippine stocks remain
susceptible to foreign selling, which has been weighing on the
market over the past two weeks, as the country records a pickup
in COVID-19 infections. 
    "Going forward, investors will remain skittish as new cases
are on the rise while some local governments have reinstated
stricter lockdowns in areas with high infections."
    Markets in India and Indonesia were closed for holidays. 
    Investors were also eying a European Central Bank meeting
later in the day where policymakers are expected to address
rising bond yields.

    Highlights:
    
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 4
basis points at 1.74%
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Bloomberry
Resorts Corp; JG Summit Holdings Inc; SM
Investments Corp 
    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies                           
 at   0412 GMT                                          
 COUNTRY     FX RIC        FX  FX YTD    INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                        DAILY       %            DAILY   YTD %
                            %                        %  
 Japan                  -0.10   -4.84            0.43    6.25
 China       <CNY=CFX   +0.11   +0.45             1.78   -1.60
             S>                                         
 India                      -   +0.22                -    8.53
 Indonesia                  -   -2.47                -    4.78
 Malaysia               +0.36   -2.19            -0.60    0.17
 Philippine             +0.09   -1.04            -1.33   -5.91
 s                                                      
 S.Korea     <KRW=KFT   +0.56   -4.41             1.99    5.00
             C>                                         
 Singapore              +0.03   -1.65             0.85    9.21
 Taiwan                 +0.52   +1.08             1.74    9.88
 Thailand               +0.52   -1.96             0.49    9.06
 

 


 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon
Cameron-Moore)
  
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