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EMERGING MARKETS-China factory surveys lift stocks, currencies steady

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * China Manufacturing PMI for September 51.5 vs August 51.0
    * Chaotic U.S. presidential debate leaves no clear winner

    By Nikhil Nainan
    Sept 30 (Reuters) - More evidence that China's economy is
rebounding lifted Asia's emerging stock markets on Wednesday
with Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan all
following Shanghai stocks around half a percent higher. 
    A holiday in South Korea and the start of a week-long break
in China on Thursday kept trading subdued, with the action in
the U.S. presidential debate late on Tuesday failing to stir
much movement from investors globally. 
    Two surveys showed China's factory activity, a bellwether
for the region, still firmly in growth territory in September.

    "The data continues to provide evidence of China's economic
resilience both in the manufacturing and services sector," Mitul
 Kotecha, a senior emerging markets strategist at TD Securities,
said. 
    "The strength of the trade components was encouraging,
suggesting that exports and imports will continue to improve,
which is also positive for the rest of Asia."
    In line with global trends, most stock markets in Asia are
slated to post declines in September, with China set to snap
three months of gains and Indonesia five, after fresh
jolts to the global recovery emerged from Europe and investors
re-valued companies seen as winners during the pandemic. 
    The region's currencies, however, have been supported by the
broad weakness of the U.S. dollar.
    Taiwan, whose tech-focussed economy has made it a robust
performer in the coronavirus crisis, again stood out on
Wednesday with its currency TW-=TP gaining 0.7%.
    Other currencies were broadly flat as the dollar held steady
through the heated debate between Donald Trump and his
Democratic rival Joe Biden.
    Christopher Wong, a FX strategist at Maybank, said market
liquidity in Asia is likely to be thin due to the month-and
quarter-end as well as holidays. 
    He added there was "little incentive to position for event
risk," and markets are likely to consolidate amid the
uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election and stimulus outcome.
    The Philippine peso was marginally lower ahead of a
central bank meeting on Thursday, where economists predict no
policy changes following a total of 175 basis point cuts this
year.
    Indonesia stocks fell 0.4%, pushing the index toward
a more than 7% drop this month. 
    The capital Jakarta reimposed COVID-19 restrictions in
September, raising concerns about economic growth. Investors are
also nervous over proposed changes to the central bank law that
would potentially reduce its independence and give ministers
more say over policy matters.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS: 
    ** Philippine 10-year benchmark yield unchanged at 3.05%
    ** The top gainer in Singapore was Keppel Corp
after it identified assets worth S$17.5 billion to monetise

    ** Investors react to first Trump-Biden election debate

           Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0341 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                      +0.06  +2.87             -0.12   -0.62
 China                      +0.04  +2.22              0.47    6.21
 India                       0.00  -3.35              0.00   -7.77
 Indonesia                  -0.03  -6.53             -0.43  -22.88
 Malaysia                   -0.02  -1.61              0.42   -4.94
 Philippines                -0.13  +4.60              0.42  -24.94
 S.Korea                        -  -1.12                 -    5.93
 Singapore                  -0.01  -1.78              0.40  -23.00
 Taiwan                     +0.68  +3.98              0.35    4.28
 Thailand                   -0.13  -5.53             -0.51  -20.82
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Simon Cameron-Moore)
  
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