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EMERGING MARKETS-Asia currencies slip as focus turns to Fed

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* Rupiah falls for 3rd straight day * Singapore stocks hit lowest since June 4 * Graphic: World FX rates * Asian stock markets: By Shashwat Awasthi June 16 (Reuters) - Most emerging Asian currencies weakened slightly against the dollar on Wednesday, as markets awaited the end of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day meeting which could offer a clearer timeline for a shift from its ultra-loose policy. The Indonesian rupiah and the Philippine peso gave up about 0.2% each, while the Singapore dollar and the Thai baht edged 0.1% lower against a steady dollar. Indications of when the Fed will start tapering its bond-buying programme and raise interest rates will be key for investors and regional central banks, as well as its comments about quickening inflation which the Fed has called transitory. "A bit more clarity can't come soon enough," Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economics research at HSBC, said of the Fed's plan to eventually exit its current policy settings. "Central banks in Asia are certainly watching with a keen eye. Once the road-map of the Fed's exit becomes clearer, and initial market repercussions have been digested, it will open the door for policy adjustments across the region." Regional central banks have kept interest rates at record lows and maintained an accommodative policy stance this year as waves of fresh coronavirus infections threaten to stymie a sustained economic rebound. But while Bank Indonesia and Taiwan's central bank are expected to leave rates unchanged this week, minutes of a May policy meeting by the Bank of Korea showed a majority of its board favoured reining back stimulus. Flows into Asian bonds, spurred recently by lower U.S. Treasury yields and a weaker greenback, could also be pressured by a steepening U.S. rates curve from the Fed's tapering, according to strategists at Singapore's DBS bank. "Rates/bonds of countries that run current account deficits, relatively more dependent on external funding, higher foreign bond ownership and still reliant on central bank bond purchases could see relatively more bear-steepening pressures," they said. Among regional stocks, Singapore's benchmark index gave up gains made in the previous session and slid 0.8%. South Korea's KOSPI, however, hit an all-time high, as foreigners were net buyers of shares on the main index. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 2.1 basis points at 6.439%. ** Top losers on the Singapore STI include Singapore Airlines down 2%, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust down 1.9%, and Sembcorp Industries down 1.8%. ** Indonesia raised 10 trillion rupiah ($701.3 million) from an Islamic bond auction on Tuesday. Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0324 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan -0.02 -6.22 -0.32 6.93 China +0.05 +1.94 -0.51 1.88 India 0.00 -0.34 0.00 13.50 Indonesia -0.25 -1.54 0.29 2.14 Malaysia -0.06 -2.37 0.13 -2.69 Philippines -0.20 -0.30 -0.08 -2.36 S.Korea -0.08 -2.84 0.52 13.99 Singapore -0.05 -0.50 -0.77 10.79 Taiwan +0.07 +3.07 -0.07 17.83 Thailand -0.10 -3.85 -0.09 11.83 ($1 = 14,260.0000 rupiah) (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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