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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies rise on weak dollar, Indonesian rupiah gains

* Indonesia's rupiah hits highest since Feb. 3 * Markets eye U.S. PCE data * Seoul shares set for biggest quarterly gain in over two years By Upasana Singh March 31 (Reuters) - Asian currencies climbed on Friday against a weaker U.S. dollar, with the Indonesian rupiah among the region's top gainers, as concerns over recent banking turmoil eased and investors looked towards the outlook for global monetary tightening. The rupiah, which has jumped about 4% so far this year, strengthened 0.5% to a near two-month high. "In the near term, the rupiah could get more of a lift if there is further dollar weakness," Maybank analysts said in a note. "There could also be more foreign buying into Indo bonds if the Fed keeps softening its stance." The South Korean won rose 0.6%, while Malaysia's ringgit appreciated 0.3%. China's yuan and the Philippine peso were up 0.2% each. Weakness in the dollar, which is tracking towards a second consecutive quarterly loss, boosted investors' appetite for riskier Asian assets. "Dollar weakness may continue in the coming sessions," said Jeff Ng, senior currency analyst at MUFG Bank, although he did not rule out a potential rebound due to risk aversion or a change in expectations about the U.S. Federal Reserve's moves. Markets are awaiting the February reading for the personal consumption expenditures price index from the U.S., due later in the day, which is the metric by which the Fed measures its 2% inflation target and which may provide further clues on monetary policy tightening. Three Federal Reserve officials kept the door open on Thursday to more rate rises aimed at lowering inflation, with two noting that banking sector problems could generate headwinds for the economy that cool price pressures faster than expected. Equities across emerging Asia were broadly higher, with stocks in Seoul climbing 0.9% and Shanghai equities advancing 0.3%. Singapore's benchmark index and Bangkok shares rose 0.2% each. Elsewhere, data showed China's manufacturing activity expanded at slower pace in March, suggesting that prospects of a strong post-COVID economic recovery are faltering amid weaker global demand and a continued property market downturn. HIGHLIGHTS: ** South Korea's factory output slumped while retail sales jumped in February, signalling an uneven economic recovery and bolstering the market's view that the central bank will keep rates on hold for the rest of the year ** Core consumer inflation in Japan's capital Tokyo slowed in March for a second month but remained well above the central bank's 2% target The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0314 GMT. COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan -0.21 -1.37 <.N2 0.95 7.48 25> China EC> India +0.00 +0.46 <.NS 0.00 -5.66 EI> Indonesi +0.47 +3.94 <.JK -0.21 -0.82 a SE> Malaysia +0.32 -0.14 <.KL 0.04 -4.70 SE> Philippi +0.19 +2.52 <.PS -1.08 0.10 nes I> S.Korea 11> Singapor +0.04 +0.96 <.ST 0.15 0.33 e I> Taiwan +0.13 +0.94 <.TW 0.12 12.24 II> Thailand -0.04 +1.39 <.SE 0.18 -3.62 TI> (Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Klamann)