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EMERGING MARKETS-Asia's emerging currencies boosted by yuan as China reopens

    * Yuan, Shanghai benchmark jump as China reopens after
holiday
    * Indian rupee rises after cenbank keeps interest rates
unchanged
    * Philippine index drops, eyes worst week in five

    By Shruti Sonal
    Oct 9 - Asia's emerging currency markets were led higher on
Friday by the yuan, which jumped more than 1% as Chinese markets
reopened after a week-long break.
    Sentiment was further boosted by a survey showing a
continued recovery in the world's second-largest economy. 
    The yuan leapt 1.3% to a 17-month high against the dollar,
catching up gains in its offshore counterpart over the long
mainland holiday and as the U.S. dollar softened on wagers that
more stimulus would be pushed through if Democrats sweep the
Nov. 3 election.
    The Philippine peso and Thai baht edged 0.3%
and 0.2% higher.
    An industry survey showed growth in China's services sector
accelerated in September, suggesting its economic recovery is
becoming more balanced and continues to gain momentum.

    "The risk sentiment is pretty positive today and Asia's
emerging currencies are outperforming the greenback", said
Margaret Yang, a Singapore-based Strategist at DailyFX.
    "But I don't know whether this rally could sustain, given
the fact that we're heading towards the U.S. election and that
there could be plenty of political uncertainties down the road",
Yang added.
    Those uncertainties kept a check on stock markets in the
region, which were largely muted in sharp comparison to Shanghai
stocks playing catch-up with a near 2% jump.
    "The rest of Asia is definitely in wait-and-see mode", said
Jeffrey Halley, Senior Market Analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA,
referring to U.S. elections and stimulus uncertainty.
    "Movement on the U..S stimulus package would be market
positive, but markets outside the US won't react until they see
ink on paper, or at least a joint statement from Mnuchin and
Pelosi", added Halley.
    The Philippine benchmark dropped 0.6% and was headed
for a weekly loss of more than 1%. 
    The country reported its largest daily increase in COVID-19
deaths in more than three weeks on Thursday. There was also
lingering concerns over a possible delay in the passing of an
$89 billion budget vital to rebuilding its battered economy.

    India's rupee edged higher after the Reserve Bank
of India (RBI) left its key interest rates unchanged as widely
expected, while retaining an accomodative monetary policy stance
to support the coronavirus-hit economy.
    RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the economy is seen
contracting by 9.5% in the current fiscal year but will return
to growth in the final January-march quarter, further lifting
shares.


    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Philippines' Converge ICT Solutions Inc prices the
country's second largest ever initial public offering
    ** Protests continue in the Indonesian capital against a
polarising new jobs law
    ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is up 0.9 basis points
at 2.695%

    
            Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0441 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX        FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %   YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                       +0.15  +2.61             -0.32   -0.36
 China                       +1.28  +3.73              1.89    7.50
 India                       +0.06  -2.47              0.10   -2.65
 Indonesia                   +0.07  -5.42             -0.11  -20.09
 Malaysia                    +0.12  -1.35             -0.04   -4.41
 Philippines                 +0.29  +4.89             -0.46  -24.31
 S.Korea                         -  +0.27                 -    8.84
 Singapore                   +0.08  -0.92              0.00  -21.09
 Taiwan                          -  +3.94                 -    7.42
 Thailand                    +0.13  -3.92             -0.12  -19.40
 
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
Coghill)
  
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