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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks subdued on virus woes, Biden's tax proposal

    * Thai exports jump 8.47% in March; fastest pace in 28 mths
    * Singapore core inflation quickens to fastest in more than
a year
    * Malaysia CPI rises 1.7% from a year ago in March

    By Harish Sridharan
    April 23 (Reuters) - Asian equities were subdued on Friday,
as surging coronavirus infections in India and Thailand sapped
risk appetite, while reports of a potential hike in capital
gains tax in the United States also dampened sentiment.
    All major indexes on Wall Street suffered overnight after
reports that the U.S President Joe Biden planned to raise income
taxes on the wealthy to fund major investments in child care,
universal pre-kindergarten education, and paid leave for
workers.
    Indian stocks stood slightly lower after losing as
much as 0.6% in early trade, as the country recorded the world's
highest daily tally of coronavirus cases for a second day in a
row, with its health infrastructure crumbling under the burden
of a second wave of infections.  
    Stocks in Bangkok fell 0.5%, while the baht weakened
 and was eyeing its worst session in over 10 days, as
Thailand reported its highest number of daily cases since the
pandemic began.
    Data showing an unexpected 8.47% jump in the country's
exports for March, marking its fastest pace in 28 months, did
little to lift the mood as the economic outlook remained
uncertain.
    Malaysian government data showed that the country's consumer
price index in March rose 1.7% from a year earlier, surpassing
the 1.4% annual growth forecast by a Reuters poll. The country's
equities and currency were flat.
    Singapore's key price gauge rose by the fastest pace in more
than a year, with the core inflation rate rising to 0.5% in
March from a year earlier, compared with 0.2% in February.
Equities were down 0.3%, while the Singapore dollar
 was relatively flat.
    "From a monetary policy perspective, this jump in headline
inflation will be of no surprise to the authorities," analysts
at Mizuho wrote in a note, referring to both countries.
    Central banks in Singapore and Malaysia are not expected to
respond to the widely anticipated pick-up in headline inflation,
given the bulk of the price pressures are expected to be
transitory, they added.
    South Korea's benchmark stock index was trading
flat, but was on track to post its first weekly loss in five
weeks, as worries over surging virus cases weighed on sentiment.
The won was off 0.1% against the dollar.
    


Highlights
    ** Top loser on Thailand's SETI was Sabuy Technology
PCL, down 5.47%
    ** Top Glove Corporation Bhd gained as much as
2.5% to hit a two month high
    ** JG Summit Holdings Inc down 1.72% and top loser
in Philippines benchmark index
  
 
  Asia stock indexes and                              
 currencies at   0505 GMT                        
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX     FX  INDE  STOCKS  STOCK
                     DAILY  YTD %     X   DAILY  S YTD
                         %                    %      %
 Japan               +0.06  -4.32  <.N2  #VALUE  #VALU
                                   25>     !      E!
 China    <CNY=CFX   -0.06  +0.51  <.SS    0.05  -0.18
          S>                       EC>           
 India               +0.14  -2.38  <.NS   -0.07   2.97
                                   EI>           
 Indones             -0.10  -3.37  <.JK    0.24   0.49
 ia                                SE>           
 Malaysi             +0.06  -2.14  <.KL    0.03  -1.17
 a                                 SE>           
 Philipp             -0.02  -0.74  <.PS   -0.58  -10.6
 ines                              I>                7
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   -0.11  -2.89  <.KS    0.21  10.81
          C>                       11>           
 Singapo             +0.05  -0.56  <.ST   -0.27  11.79
 re                                I>            
 Taiwan              +0.06  +1.28  <.TW    0.79  16.97
                                   II>           
 Thailan             -0.13  -4.49  <.SE   -0.54   7.61
 d                                 TI>           
 




















 (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru)
  
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