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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks drop on Fed hike fears, won gains over 1% in BoK meeting week

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* Bank of Korea hikes benchmark rate 25 bps to 1.25%, stocks fall * Philippines extends COVID curbs in capital region until end-Jan * Singapore's United Overseas Bank hits record high on Citi deal By Anushka Trivedi Jan 14 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian stocks tumbled on Friday as a possibility of multiple and faster interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve frayed investor nerves, while a rally in the South Korean won lost steam after the central bank tightened policy. Equities in Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand slid between 0.2% and 1.1%. The dollar struggled as four Fed rate hikes seemed to be fully priced in, with Fed Governor Lael Brainard becoming the latest and most senior U.S. central banker to signal that rates will rise in March to combat inflation. That and the Chinese yuan hitting a two-week high on record trade surplus helped Asian currencies recover earlier losses, with Singapore and Taiwan's dollars firming 0.2% each. "We expect more aggressive Fed hikes to have an adverse impact on capital flows to Asia, which could be detrimental to some countries with worsening current account positions," said Mitul Kotecha, a senior EM strategist at TD Securities. "Clearly, there is some impact at present from the shift from growth to value stocks and that is impacting some of Asia's more tech-driven markets." The tech-heavy Seoul bourse sank 1.4% after the Bank of Korea raised interest rates back to pre-pandemic levels, as widely expected, while the won ended flat after accumulating gains of more than 1% this week. "The won may have slipped due to equity outflows," said Wei Liang Chang, a macro strategist at DBS Bank, adding that the hike should cushion the won against larger losses since soaring inflation led the central bank to hint at more tightening. Indonesia and Malaysia's central banks are set to hold their policy reviews next week where they are likely to stand pat on rates. Their currencies, traded a tad weaker on Friday. Among stock markets, Philippine equities fell 0.6% after coronavirus curbs in the capital city were extended until the end of January, but were headed for their best week since early November with a near 3.7% jump. Shanghai's stock index shed 1% as property firms dropped for a fourth session even as heavily indebted China Evergrande Group secured an extension for one of its bond payments. Singapore shares were the only major gainers, buoyed by financials after United Overseas Bank hit a record high on a deal to buy Citigroup's consumer businesses in four Southeast Asian countries. HIGHLIGHTS ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 5 basis points at 4.392% ** Indian shares slip 0.4% as the earnings season kicks off, but still set for their fourth consecutive weekly gain; rupee weakens 0.4% ** Top losers on the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index include Inari Amertron Bhd, down 3.9%, and Top Glove Corp, down 3.8% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0849 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.33 +1.13 -1.28 -2.32 China +0.12 +0.04 -0.97 -3.27 India -0.33 +0.28 -0.36 4.83 Indonesia -0.10 -0.38 0.17 1.34 Malaysia -0.02 -0.29 -1.11 -0.98 Philippines +0.06 -0.12 -0.64 1.95 S.Korea +0.02 +0.13 -1.36 -1.87 Singapore +0.12 +0.36 0.61 4.92 Taiwan +0.16 +0.31 -0.18 1.01 Thailand +0.03 +0.60 -0.11 1.24 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi and Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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