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EMERGING MARKETS-Singapore dollar gains after cenbank holds fire, Indonesian bond yields rise

    * Singapore dollar up 0.3%
    * South Korea's won firms nearly a percent
    * Indonesian stocks gain 1.5%

    By Sameer Manekar
    April 14 (Reuters) - Singapore's dollar strengthened on
Wednesday after its central bank kept monetary policy settings
unchanged on better-than-expected economic growth, while
benchmark Indonesian bond yields firmed after an auction.
    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which manages
monetary policy through exchange-rate settings, rather than
interest rates, left its accommodative policy stance unchanged
on Wednesday, as expected.
    The MAS now expects growth in the country's economy to
exceed the upper end of the official forecast range of 4%-6%,
after preliminary data showed an economic growth of 0.2%
year-on-year for the first quarter. 
    That pushed the local dollar up as much as 0.3% to
S$1.3370, its highest in nearly six weeks.
    "Confirmation that the MAS has an improved outlook has
raised the possibility that it could undo some of the easing —
perhaps as soon as October — if economic conditions strengthen,"
analysts at Singapore bank DBS said.
    "All in, this puts downward pressure on SGD rates relative
to USD rates. In level terms, however, we still see SGD rates
tracking USD rates broadly higher over the medium term."
    In Indonesia, the government raised 24.23 trillion rupiah
($1.66 billion) at a bi-weekly bonds auction on Tuesday, sending
benchmark 10-year yields up 4.7 basis points to
6.57%.
    "The issue of such a large amount — which is about
six-and-a-half times the previous sale amount — is likely to be
a trigger for the bonds," said Kunal Kundu, an economist with
Societe Generale.
    Jakarta stocks gained after three consecutive days
of losses, jumping as much as 1.5% in their best session in more
than a month.
    Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed Indonesia's trade surplus
narrowed in March on rising imports.
    Among other currencies, the U.S. dollar fell to a
three-week low after data showed U.S. consumer prices gained
slightly more than expected in March, which investors read as a
transitory rise rather than a sign of an overheating economy.

    As a result, most emerging Asian currencies strengthened.
The South Korean won firmed as much as 0.9%, while
the Malaysian ringgit and the Philippine peso
added 0.2% each.
    A Reuters poll projects the Bank of Korea is expected to
keep its interest rates unchanged on Thursday amid signs of
solid economic recovery.
    Markets in India and Thailand were closed for a holiday.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:   
    ** S. Korea's most liquid 3-year treasury bond yield fall
3.4 basis points to 1.105%
    ** Banks top gainers in Indonesia; Bank Central Asia
 up about 4%
    ** India's second wave of coronavirus poses credit-negative
threat - Moody's
                
 
  Asia stock indexes and                            
 currencies at   0628 GMT                      
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX    FX  INDE  STOCK  STOCK
                     DAILY   YTD     X      S  S YTD
                         %     %        DAILY      %
                                            %  
 Japan               +0.20  -5.1  <.N2  -0.44  7.93
                               4  25>          
 China    <CNY=CFX   +0.13  -0.1  <.SS   0.65  -1.57
          S>                   3  EC>          
 India                0.00  -2.6  <.NS   0.00   3.74
                               6  EI>          
 Indones             +0.00  -3.8  <.JK   1.45   0.57
 ia                            4  SE>          
 Malaysi             +0.15  -2.5  <.KL  -0.12  -1.93
 a                             9  SE>          
 Philipp             +0.19  -0.9  <.PS   1.01  -8.63
 ines                          5  I>           
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   +0.72  -2.8  <.KS   0.53  10.88
          C>                   4  11>          
 Singapo             +0.33  -1.1  <.ST  -0.28  11.78
 re                            8  I>           
 Taiwan              +0.07  +0.1  <.TW   0.24  14.48
                               3  II>          
 Thailan              0.00  -4.8  <.SE   0.00   6.33
 d                             6  TI>          
 
($1 = 14,600.0000 rupiah)

 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon
Cameron-Moore and Uttaresh.V)
  
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