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EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysian ringgit extends gains on hopes of stability after PM appointment

* Ringgit hits highest level since mid-August * Stocks in Malaysia pare gains * Other regional FX, stocks mixed By Himanshi Akhand Nov 25 (Reuters) - Malaysia's ringgit extended gains and touched a three-month high on Friday, following Anwar Ibrahim's appointment as prime minister, while focus shifted to his cabinet appointments and retabling of the budget for next year. The ringgit, which was up for the third straight session, climbed 0.6% against the U.S. dollar to its highest level in over three months. "MYR is playing catch-up to gains... as USD weakness extended and election uncertainties in Malaysia dissipate," analysts at OCBC said in a note. Stocks in Kuala Lumpur slipped 1.1%, after soaring more than 4% in the previous session. Anwar's appointment ended five days of post-election crisis, but could usher in further instability with his rival, former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, challenging him to prove his majority in parliament. Anwar said his primary focus would be on the cost of living. He has yet to announce any cabinet appointments for his coalition government and has said he will table the budget next month or so. "Focus will now shift to cabinet formation, in particular who is made the Finance Minister, the budget itself as well as the confidence vote. Uncertainties on this front could slow MYR's appreciation going forward," the OCBC note added. Meanwhile, data showed that Malaysia's consumer price index rose 4% in October from a year earlier, slightly faster than the forecast. "Going forward, with core inflation gaining momentum as the economy remains on a solid recovery path... we continue to expect BNM (Bank Negara Malaysia) to hike policy rates at a 25-basis point/meeting pace until mid-2023," analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote. Other regional currencies and equities were mixed as markets continued to digest signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve that hinted at a milder rate of policy tightening ahead. The Singaporean dollar added 0.3%, while the Philippine peso lost 0.3%. The Thai baht added 0.3% and was set to post its fifth consecutive weekly gain. Investors will be looking for the Bank of Thailand's rate decision on Nov. 30. Data out on Monday showed that the country's economy grew at its fastest pace in over a year in the third quarter, reinforcing expectations of a modest 25bp hike. However, stocks in Jakarta and Bangkok lost about 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively, as risk sentiment remained fragile after China reported another record high of daily COVID-19 infections. Equities in Singapore retreated 0.3% and were set to post their first weekly loss in five. HIGHLIGHTS ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is down 7.9 bps at 4.172% ** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index include Top Glove Corporation Bhd and Maxis Bhd ** Bank of Thailand's rate decision, India's GDP data due next week Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0652 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan +0.08 -16.9 <.N2 -0.35 -1.77 1 25> China 7 EC> India +0.13 -8.83 <.NS -0.13 6.37 EI> Indonesi -0.08 -9.09 <.JK -0.47 7.08 a SE> Malaysia +0.60 -6.70 <.KL -1.17 -5.31 SE> Philippi -0.26 -10.1 <.PS 0.76 -7.61 nes 3 I> S.Korea 9 11> Singapor +0.26 -1.64 <.ST -0.37 3.75 e I> Taiwan +0.46 -10.3 <.TW -0.04 -18.88 5 II> Thailand +0.27 -6.43 <.SE -0.29 -2.26 TI> (Reporting by Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru)