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EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesian, Philippine stocks buoyed by easing of COVID-19 lockdowns

    * U.S. consumer price data due at 1230 GMT
    * Most currencies subdued 
    * Philippine shares hit a more than 3-month high
    * KOSPI on track for its best day since Aug. 31

    By Indranil Sarkar
    Sept 14 (Reuters) - Easing COVID-19 restrictions helped
stocks in Indonesia and Philippines rise on Tuesday, while
emerging Asian currencies lacked direction ahead of U.S.
inflation data due later in the day which will give clues on the
Fed's tapering plans.
    Indonesian equities and the rupiah surged after the
country eased pandemic induced curbs in its popular tourist
island of Bali, though international travellers would face
stricter protocols on arrival to help curb the spread of new
variants.
    Philippine authorities said the country's capital region
would shift to localised lockdowns and an alert level system
starting September 16, a move that would allow more businesses
to resume operations.
    That sent the country's benchmark stock index up 0.7%
to its highest level in more than 3 months. The peso, on the
other hand, weakened 0.1%.
    "(The easing of lockdowns) would allow economic activity to
return in some areas deemed to have a lower risk rating," said
Nicholas Mapa, Senior Economist at ING. 
    Mapa expected gains to be capped, however, as most market
participants keep a close eye on the number of daily infections.
The Philippines had posted record daily new cases on Sept. 11.  
    Currencies elsewhere were mostly flat on Tuesday ahead of
the key U.S. CPI data, which will give a broad picture of the
country's economic recovery ahead of the Federal Reserve's
meeting next week.
    The Fed is monitoring price pressures keenly as it
contemplates when to crimp its massive bond purchases and lift
interest rates from near zero levels.
   The Thai baht, Singapore dollar and the
Malaysian ringgit were all trading flat to marginally
stronger. 
    South Korean stocks were on track for their best
session in two weeks. The United States and South Korea, in a
meeting on Monday, stressed on the importance of working
together to strengthen supply chains, including for
semiconductors.
    Stocks in China were little changed a day ahead of
its retail sales, industrial output and urban investment data,
which analysts fear will show a further slowdown in the world's
second-biggest economy.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields up 1.8 basis points
at 6.18%​​
    ** In the Philippines, top index gainer was Converge
Information & Communications Technology Solutions Inc
, up 3.6% 
    ** Top gainer on the Jakarta stock index was WEHA
Transportasi Indonesia Tbk PT, up 29.41% 
   
 Asia stock indexes and currencies                          
 at   0348 GMT                                    
 COUNT  FX        FX  FX YTD     INDEX    STOCKS  STOCKS YTD
 RY     RIC    DAILY       %             DAILY %           %
                   %                              
 Japan  <JPY=  -0.06   -6.19                0.38       11.36
        >                                         
 China  <CNY=   0.07    1.25                0.05        7.03
        CFXS>                                     
 India  <INR=      0   -0.82                   0       24.13
        IN>                                       
 Indon  <IDR=      0   -1.47                0.45        2.28
 esia   >                                         
 Malay  <MYR=   0.05   -3.06               -0.35       -3.84
 sia    >                                         
 Phili  <PHP=  -0.14   -3.83                0.57       -1.85
 ppine  >                                         
 s                                                
 S.Kor  <KRW=   0.34   -7.32                0.92        9.85
 ea     KFTC>                                     
 Singa  <SGD=  -0.07   -1.62                0.39        8.53
 pore   >                                         
 Taiwa  <TWD=   0.11    2.87                   0       18.42
 n      TP>                                       
 Thail  <THB=  -0.06   -8.99               -0.17       12.54
 and    TH>                                       
                                  

    
 (Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln
Feast.)
  
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