EMERGING MARKETS-Asian shares, FX muted as virus surge cuts risk taking

    * Graphic: World FX rates
    * Asian stock markets:
    * Virus surge dampens risk sentiment across the region
    * South Korea reports better than expected economic growth
    * Investors eye Federal Reserve meeting later this week

    By Harish Sridharan
    April 27 (Reuters) - Asian stocks posted small moves and
currencies were flat on Tuesday, as a surge in coronavirus cases
in the region and the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting this week
keep investors on edge. 
    "Regional COVID-19 spikes, foremost in India, signs in
Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, and accompanying curbs could
be mitigating the influence of largely positive data prints,"
analysts at Maybank said, noting the mixed equities performance
in Asia. 
    Indian equities opened higher, with technology
stocks leading the gains, as investors awaited a slew of
quarterly results later in the day. 
    The coronavirus crisis in the South Asian country, however,
remained grim even as the daily rise in coronavirus cases
retreated from record levels on Tuesday, but stayed above the
300,000 mark for a sixth straight day.
    Thai stocks edged 0.3% higher, while the baht
 strengthened 0.2%, even as the government shuttered
parks, gyms and cinemas in Bangkok, the epicentre of the latest
wave of infections, as Thailand reported yet another daily
record of 15 virus deaths.
    South Korea's economic growth beat expectations in the first
quarter, data showed on Tuesday, as global demand surged and the
government maintained support for ailing small businesses. The
won traded 0.1% firmer, while the country's shares
 were down 0.3%.
    "With growth surging, talk of earlier Bank of Korea
tightening will inevitably pick up, and this could provide some
further support to the Korean won which appreciated today on the
GDP data," Robert Carnell, regional head of research,
Asia-Pacific from ING Economics wrote in a note.
    Investors will likely stay away from making big bets ahead
of the Fed's meeting later this week, where Chair Jerome
Powell's is likely to shed light on whether improving economic
conditions warrant a tapering of monetary easing. 
    Equities in Singapore stood firm at 0.2% a day after
the city-state reported higher-than-expected manufacturing
output for March.
    Malaysian shares were an outlier with relatively
larger losses, falling 0.8%, as stocks of palm oil producers and
large glove makers slipped. The nation recorded 2,776 new
COVID-19 cases with 13 deaths on April 26. 

    ** Top loser on the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index
was Hartalega Holdings Bhd, down 3.40%
    ** General Engineering PCL was up 29.27% and the
top gainer on Thailand's SETI 
    ** The biggest gainers in the NSE index were
Hindalco Industries Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd

  Asia stock indexes and currencies at                         
 0452 GMT                                                 
                           DAILY  YTD %            DAILY  S YTD
                               %                       %      %
 Japan                     -0.16  -4.63             -0.3    5.9
 China                     +0.01  +0.66            -0.54  -1.46
 India                     +0.15  -2.06             0.57   4.19
 Indonesia                 -0.09  -3.13            -0.01  -0.25
 Malaysia                  +0.02  -1.83            -0.83  -1.06
 Philippines               -0.17  -0.83            -0.30  -10.7
 S.Korea                   +0.13  -2.30            -0.30  11.63
 Singapore                 -0.09  -0.41             0.15  12.87
 Taiwan                    +0.31  +2.19            -0.06  19.20
 Thailand                  +0.22  -4.40             0.29   7.91

 (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)