* Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Taiwan dollar clocks biggest weekly gain since early June * Yuan set for fourth straight weekly gain * Indonesia, Philippine markets shut for holidays By Shriya Ramakrishnan Aug 21 (Reuters) - Asian currencies struggled to gain on Friday as China's yuan pulled back from a seven-month high, but optimism over a trade-driven recovery in the region helped stock markets in South Korea and Taiwan rebound from losses a day earlier. The onshore yuan, whose gains currencies across the region often tend to track, rose to 6.896 per dollar in morning trade, its strongest level since Jan. 22, before retreating slightly. The currency was, however, set for a fourth straight weekly gain, prompting some profit-taking, but with the dollar regaining some ground, the jury is out on further gains. "The yuan remains supported by flows and rates differentials....actions and retaliation taken on the trade front have been on the soft side of expectation, which do not derail the mildly upbeat sentiment on the yuan," said Frances Cheung, head of macro strategy for Asia at Westpac. The Thai baht, Malaysian ringgit and the won hovered around flat to lower during the day. South Korean shares ended up more than 1% after data showed exports in Asia's fourth-largest economy contracted less in the first 20 days of August than in July. Taiwan's export orders, a bellwether for global technology demand, grew at the strongest pace in two-and-a-half-years in July on strong demand for telecommuting products as the pandemic forced millions of people around the world to stay home. The island's dollar strengthened 0.5% against the greenback, registering its biggest weekly gain since early June, while its shares closed 2% higher. Indian shares gained about 1%, driven by strength in banking and financial stocks, while the rupee traded 0.2% higher against a weaker dollar. Rising inflation could limit the ability of India's Monetary Policy Committee to support growth, its August meeting minutes showed on Thursday, suggesting that the central bank sees no room for rate cuts in the current environment. Financial markets in Indonesia and the Philippines were closed for holidays. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 1 basis points at 1.325% ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include Asiasoft Corporation PCL up 14.55% at 3.78 baht, Symphony Communication PCL up 12.57% at 4.12 baht ** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index include Genting Bhd down 4.47% at 3.63 ringgit; Genting Malaysia Bhd down 3.48% at 2.22 ringgit; Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0726 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCK STOCKS DAILY YTD % S YTD % % DAILY % Japan +0.22 +2.89 <.N225 0.17 -3.11 > China <CNY=CFXS +0.06 +0.75 <.SSEC 0.50 10.84 > > India +0.20 -4.67 <.NSEI 0.81 -6.29 > Malaysia -0.10 -2.04 <.KLSE -0.02 -0.86 > S.Korea <KRW=KFTC +0.05 -2.52 <.KS11 1.34 4.87 > > Singapor -0.03 -1.67 0.21 -21.39 e Taiwan +0.52 +2.51 <.TWII 1.98 5.09 > Thailand -0.13 -4.96 <.SETI 0.41 -17.58 > (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Arun Koyyur)
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