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EMERGING MARKETS-Indian shares slump on record COVID-19 spike; Asian currencies fall

    * India daily COVID-19 cases cross 100,000
    * RBI policy meeting on Wednesday
    * Indonesian 10-year bond yields at 4-week low

    April 5 (Reuters) - Indian shares dived more than 2% on
Monday after the country imposed fresh restrictions as
coronavirus cases touched a record high, while a firmer dollar
dragged down Asia's emerging currencies lower in holiday-thinned
trade. 
    Stocks and currencies in the region were trading lower for
much of the session as strong U.S. jobs data raised worries that
the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates sooner than
indicated. 
    India's NSE Nifty 50 index fell 2.3% and the rupee
 slipped 0.5% after the country's coronavirus caseload
jumped by more than a 100,000 to surpass 12.5 million and fresh
curbs were imposed in the financial capital of Mumbai.
    Maharashtra, the state that houses Mumbai, will start
shutting shopping malls, cinemas, bars, restaurants and places
of worship from Monday evening.    
    Trading elsewhere was limited as markets in Australia, Hong
Kong, Taiwan, Asian powerhouse China and most parts of Europe 
were closed.
    "With Europe on holiday today, volumes will rapidly taper
this afternoon in Asia," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior Asia
Pacific market analyst at OANDA.
    The dollar and 10-year Treasury yields gained
late in Asian trade as data on Friday showed the U.S. economy
created more jobs than expected in March, although initial
market reaction was scant due to the Easter holidays. 
    The prospects of a return to a full employment is raising
questions about whether the Fed can stick to its pledge to keep
interest rates steady through 2023. The market has fully priced
in one rate hike by the end of next year.
    A rate hike could narrow the rate differential between
Asia's high-yielders and U.S. Treasuries. Minutes of the Fed's
March meeting will be released on Wednesday. 
    The rupiah was 0.1% firmer on the dollar, with
benchmark 10-year bond yields at their lowest level
in around four weeks. 
    In comments late on Thursday, a senior Bank Indonesia deputy
governor said the central bank has room to cut its key policy
rates due to low inflation.
    Bank Indonesia left its key policy rate at a record low of 
3.50% last month to stave off capital outflows and protect the
rupiah, which fell around 2% in March.
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ends its two-day meeting on
Wednesday, where it is expected to leave its key interest rate
unchanged and may revise inflation projections higher.
[nL4N2LY0M8
    "A relatively dovish guidance and/or OMO (open market
operation) purchases/twist operations could trigger a rally in
fixed income markets," Barclays analysts said.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields fell 13.70 basis
points to 6.624%
    ** Philippines' Duterte extends coronavirus curbs in
capital, nearby provinces  
    ** Thai March headline CPI drops 0.08% from a year earlier;
Goldman Sachs expects Thailand to be one of the slowest to hike
policy rates in the region, starting 2023
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at   0631 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.05    -6.70           0.79     9.64
 China                    -        -0.60           -        0.33
 India                    -0.45    -0.50           -2.34    3.85
 Indonesia                +0.07    -3.24           -0.43    0.11
 Malaysia                 -0.05    -2.90           -0.18    -2.74
 Philippines              -0.11    -1.21           0.81     -9.03
 S.Korea                  -0.02    -3.68           0.26     8.61
 Singapore                -0.03    -1.87           0.90     12.89
 Taiwan                   -        -0.18           -        12.48
 Thailand                 -0.22    -4.46           -1.07    8.96
 

 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by
Jane Wardell and Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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