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EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies tread water after Powell comments

    * Chinese factory data due on Thursday
    * India Oct-Dec quarter GDP growth awaited this week
    * S. Korean won edges up on Trump-Kim summit

 (Adds text, updates prices)
    By Niyati Shetty
    Feb 27 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies traded sideways on
Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell
reiterated the U.S. central bank's shift to a more "patient"
monetary policy as the world's biggest economy slows.

    Powell on Tuesday told U.S. lawmakers that the Fed was in
"no rush to make a judgement" about further changes to interest
rates, solidifying comments last month which indicated a pause
in the three-year cycle of rate hikes.
    "After initial relief re-pricing, markets may default to
erring on the side of caution," Mizuho Bank said in a note to
clients.   
    With no new changes to Powell's stance, market participants
began looking ahead to his appearance before the House of
Representatives Financial Services Committee later on Wednesday.
    Asian units took a hit in 2018 as rate differentials in the
region widened after the Fed raised key rates four times, but
were relieved after a dovish shift by the Fed this year.
    The Chinese yuan and the Malaysian ringgit
were slightly firmer.
    Investors are also waiting for Chinese manufacturing data on
Thursday. A Reuters poll expects factory activity in the world's
second largest economy to have contracted for the third straight
month in February, adding to evidence of a slowdown.
    The Indian rupee declined marginally against the
dollar as investors were cautious about the country's latest
border conflict with Pakistan. 
    India said its warplanes attacked a militant training camp
inside Pakistan on Tuesday, raising the risk of conflict between
the nuclear-armed neighbours and keeping financial markets on
edge.
    India's economy likely grew at its slowest pace in over a
year in the October-December quarter, a Reuters poll showed,
supporting the Reserve Bank of India's sudden dovish turn in
early February.
    The Thai baht weakened the most in the region,
faltering 0.3 percent. Thailand's factory output missed analyst
expectations, rising 0.18 percent from a year ago.
    Also slightly lower against the dollar was the Philippine
peso and the Indonesian rupiah. 
    The Korean won edged higher ahead of talks
between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un in Vietnam on Wednesday to break a stalemate over the
North's nuclear weapons and missile programmes.
    However, the won's gains were limited as South Korea's
exports likely fell the most in nearly three years in February
as Chinese demand falters, a Reuters poll showed.
    
    The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against
the dollar at 0545 GMT.
    
  CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
 Currency               Latest bid  Previous day  Pct Move
 Japan yen              110.560     110.57        +0.01
 Sing dlr               1.348       1.3471        -0.03
 Taiwan dlr             30.770      30.783        +0.04
 Korean won             1117.700    1118.6        +0.08
 Baht                   31.385      31.3          -0.27
 Peso                   52.010      51.96         -0.10
 Rupiah                 14005.000   13988         -0.12
 Rupee                  71.135      71.06         -0.10
 Ringgit                4.064       4.069         +0.12
 Yuan                   6.688       6.6999        +0.18
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Currency               Latest bid  End 2018      Pct Move
 Japan yen              110.560     109.56        -0.90
 Sing dlr               1.348       1.3627        +1.13
 Taiwan dlr             30.770      30.733        -0.12
 Korean won             1117.700    1115.70       -0.18
 Baht                   31.385      32.55         +3.71
 Peso                   52.010      52.47         +0.88
 Rupiah                 14005.000   14375         +2.64
 Rupee                  71.135      69.77         -1.92
 Ringgit                4.064       4.1300        +1.62
 Yuan                   6.688       6.8730        +2.76
 

 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; editing by Darren
Schuettler)
  
 
 
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