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EMERGING MARKETS-Most Asian currencies flat after Fed message, more U.S. data looms

    * S.Korea's won weakens 0.2%
    * Bank of Korea keeps interest rates unchanged
    * Indonesia's 10-year bond yields up 1%

    By Sameer Manekar
    April 15 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies were
little changed on Thursday as investors digested the Federal
Reserve's continued dovish stance and awaited more key U.S.
economic data before making further moves.
    South Korea's won softened about 0.2%, losing
some ground gained in the last session after its central bank
left interest rates unchanged on worries that rising coronavirus
cases could thwart economic recovery.
    The Fed will reduce its monthly bond purchases before it
commits to an interest rate increase, Chair Jerome Powell said
on Wednesday, clarifying the order of monetary policy changes
that are still months if not years in the future.
    The dollar index hovered near four-week lows and U.S.
Treasury yields were largely flat. Still, emerging
market currencies were unable to capitalize and most traded in a
tight range by 0356 GMT.
    "Near term, the technical picture is still unfavourable to
the USD as data positives fail to carry and USD longs continue
to liquidate, analysts at OCBC Bank said in a note.
    Most Southeast Asian currencies have strengthened against
the softening dollar so far in April, with the South Korean won,
Singapore dollar, Philippine peso and the
Malaysian ringgit firming between 0.2% and 1.2%.
    Markets were also looking ahead to the release of U.S.
weekly jobless claims and March retail sales data later in the
day for cues on the speed and extent of recovery in the world's
largest economy.
    Equities in Indonesia slipped 0.1% after data showed
its March trade surplus narrowed, largely in line with a Reuters
poll, as exports and imports jumped higher than expected.

    Philippine stocks declined nearly a percent, giving
away gains made in the previous session.
    Meanwhile, data showed foreign investors continued to
purchase emerging-market bonds in March, though inflows mainly
focused on South Korean bonds as investors searched for safety
among emerging-market bonds.
    S.Korea's most liquid 3-year treasury bond yield
added 11.3 basis points (bps) in March, while yields on
Indonesia's 10-year benchmark, one of the
highest-yielding bonds in the region, rose 21.6 bps.

    HIGHLIGHTS:    
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields rise 6.5 basis points
to 6.638%
    ** S. Korea's most liquid 3-year treasury bond yield rise
4.1 basis points to 1.143%
    ** Consumer and real estate firms biggest weights on the
Philippine bourse
    
  Asia stock indexes and                            
 currencies at   0430 GMT                      
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX    FX  INDE  STOCK  STOCK
                     DAILY   YTD     X      S  S YTD
                         %     %        DAILY      %
                                            %  
 Japan               +0.05  -5.1  <.N2  0.04   7.97
                               6  25>          
 China    <CNY=CFX   -0.14  -0.1  <.SS  -1.18  -2.79
          S>                   7  EC>          
 India               -0.16  -2.8  <.NS  -0.24   3.49
                               1  EI>          
 Indones              0.00  -3.8  <.JK  -0.21   0.98
 ia                            4  SE>          
 Malaysi             +0.02  -2.5  <.KL   0.22  -1.56
 a                             7  SE>          
 Philipp             -0.04  -0.9  <.PS  -0.62  -9.20
 ines                          7  I>           
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   -0.16  -2.8  <.KS   0.39  11.19
          C>                   8  11>          
 Singapo             -0.12  -1.2  <.ST   0.11  11.92
 re                            1  I>           
 Taiwan              +0.06  +0.2  <.TW   0.76  15.35
                               3  II>          
 Thailan              0.00  -4.8  <.SE   0.00   6.33
 d                             6  TI>          
 

 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
Coghill)
  
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