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EMERGING MARKETS-Most Asia FX gain; Singapore dollar leads on third policy tightening

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* Singapore dlr posts biggest jump in 7 mths on policy tightening * Bank of Korea unexpectedly raises rates * Markets in Thailand, Philippines and India closed for holiday By Savyata Mishra April 14 (Reuters) - The Singaporean dollar led gains among emerging Asian currencies on Thursday, supported by monetary policy tightening to curb inflation, while South Korean shares wobbled after a surprise interest rate hike from the central bank. The Singaporean dollar advanced 0.8% to post its sharpest gain since Aug. 27, after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) moved its currency-based policy band higher, adding to global central banks' efforts to fight red-hot inflation. DBS analysts said in a note that three policy tightening measures by the MAS since last October had put it ahead of other central banks in beginning to normalise monetary policy and trying to control inflation. "While they are cognisant of the risks to growth from geopolitics, they are looking at a lot more inflationary pressure in the economy, both from external, but also due to a much tighter labour market than they had previously expected, so that's where the hawkish element comes in," said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ. Singapore and South Korea both tightened monetary policies, hot on the heels of recent rate hikes in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, bringing into focus the need for other regional central banks to contemplate similar measures to contain inflation. "We assess the accumulation of downside risks to global growth (geopolitics, China's zero-COVID led restrictions, etc.) and looming aggressive tightening of policy by the Fed risks tighter financial conditions in weeks ahead," Citi analysts said. A pullback in the greenback overnight supported currencies across the region. The Taiwan dollar and the South Korean won firmed 0.3% each. Indonesia's rupiah was up about 0.2% with a Reuters poll indicating that the Bank Indonesia will raise interest rates next quarter on expectations of a hawkish stance by the U.S. Federal Reserve and higher inflation. The Malaysian ringgit were up about 0.1%. Geopolitical risks continued to check market optimism. Ukraine warned on Wednesday that Russia was ramping up efforts in the South and East as it sought full control of Mariupol, while Western governments committed more military help to bolster Kyiv. Moves in equities markets were mixed, with thin trading head of a holiday. South Korean shares pared early losses to trade flat after the Bank of Korea surprisingly raised its base rate. Singapore stocks inched 0.1% lower, while Kuala Lumpur stocks rose 0.3%. Jakarta stocks were down 0.1%. Traders are awaiting the outcome of a European Central Bank meeting later in the day, looking for signs of future monetary policy. Highlights: ** Indonesian 10-yr benchmark yields are up 2.3 basis points at 6.94% ** Top gainers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Index: Press Metal Aluminium Holdings up 2.8%, Top Glove Corporation up 2.3%, Hartalega Holdings up ​1.7% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0657 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan +0.29 -8.16 <.N2 +1.2 -5.63 25> China EC> India 0.00 -2.42 <.NS 0.00 0.70 EI> Indonesi +0.12 -0.66 <.JK -0.15 10.18 a SE> Malaysia +0.05 -1.49 <.KL 0.25 4.14 SE> Philippi -0.02 -2.09 <.PS 1.30 -1.93 nes I> S.Korea 11> Singapor +0.69 -0.29 <.ST -0.10 6.89 e I> Taiwan +0.33 -4.54 <.TW -0.32 -5.34 II> Thailand 0.00 -0.74 <.SE 0.00 1.01 TI> (Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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