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EMERGING MARKETS-Most Asian currencies slip on limited impact from lira plunge

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
    * Turkey's lira recovers partially to 7.8 against the dollar
    * Analysts see limited contagion risk on EM Asia forex
    * Thai central bank seen holding key rate steady- poll

    By Shruti Sonal
    March 22 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies edged
lower on Monday, as risk appetite was sapped by a slump in
Turkey's lira after President Tayyip Erdogan sacked the
country's hawkish central bank governor.  
    However, the impact of the tumbling Lira was muted as
analysts flagged a limited contagion effect in the region. 
    Turkey's lira recovered partially to 7.8 against the dollar,
after sliding 15% to near its all-time low in early trade in
reaction to the president's shock weekend decision to replace
central bank governor Naci Agbal with a former ruling party
lawmaker and critic of tight monetary policy.

    The Indonesian rupiah and the Thai baht
weakened 0.2% against the dollar, while the Philippine peso
 and Malaysian ringgit dropped 0.1% each.
    "What is happening in Turkey is very country-specific and
doesn't really have any direct bearing on Asia," said Khoon Goh,
head of Asia research at ANZ Banking Group.
     Citi Research analysts pointed that the last Lira slide in
value between August and early November last year was not
accompanied by a generalized emerging forex selloff.
    Bucking the trend, South Korean won strengthened
slightly after preliminary data showed the country's exports
during the first 20 days of March jumped 12.5% from a year
earlier.
    Investors were awaiting central bank meetings in the region
later in the week. Unlike other emerging economies such as
Russia and Turkey, which have already embarked on a monetary
tightening cycle, Asian central banks have stood pat on rates.
    Last week, Indonesia and Taiwan kept their key interest rate
steady, and central banks in Philippines and Thailand are also
expected leave rates unchanged at their meetings this week.

    "Coming out of the worst recession since at least the Asian
Financial Crisis, we don't think Asian central banks will be in
a hurry to withdraw monetary policy support", Deutsche Bank
analysts wrote in a note. 
    Expectations of a stronger yuan and continued external
surpluses should limit the weakness in Asian currencies,
Deutsche Bank added, allowing the timing of rate hikes in Asia
to be motivated by local growth and inflation concerns.
    Safe-haven currencies like the Japanese yen and the
U.S. dollar strengthened, pointing towards a "risk off"
environment.
    A spike in COVID-19 cases in Philippines and India remained
a cause of concern, weighing their shares down
0.6% and 0.5% respectively. 
    India reported its biggest daily jump in cases in four
months on Sunday, while Philippines is set to expand tighter
COVID-19 rules and restrict travel to battle a renewed surge in
infections.

    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                  
 currencies at   0657 GMT                           
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX     FX    INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                     DAILY  YTD %            DAILY   YTD %
                         %                       %  
 Japan               +0.12  -5.06           -2.07    6.30
 China    <CNY=CFX   +0.00  +0.29             0.96   -1.02
          S>                                        
 India               +0.17  +0.94            -0.39    5.04
 Indones             -0.17  -2.67            -0.81    5.45
 ia                                                 
 Malaysi             -0.12  -2.19            -0.22   -0.29
 a                                                  
 Philipp             -0.12  -1.13            -0.64  -10.43
 ines                                               
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   +0.19  -3.74            -0.13    5.64
          C>                                        
 Singapo             -0.09  -1.62            -0.10   10.11
 re                                                 
 Taiwan              -0.09  -0.02             0.74    9.89
 Thailan             -0.23  -3.04             0.12    8.04
 d                                                  
 





 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren
Daniel)
  
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