* Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and China stocks climb over 1% * Malaysia's central bank expected to leave rates unchanged * Markets eye poll lead for Biden in U.S. election - analyst By Nikhil Nainan Nov 3 (Reuters) - South Korea led gains across Asia's emerging stock markets on Tuesday as improving global factory activity data and expectations of a win for Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential election boosted sentiment in China and other regional markets. Stocks in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Shanghai all gained over 1%, while Seoul rose nearly 2%, driving the MSCI index of Asian shares ex-Japan up more than 1%. U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated more than expected in October, following similar robust improvements in South Korea and China on Monday, underpinning gains on Wall Street overnight. A win for Democratic candidate Biden, who leads in the polls, is expected to lead to a less combative stance on China and steadier foreign and trade policy overall, all seen as supportive for Asia's trade-reliant economies. "Markets have turned more positive as polls on the eve of U.S. elections are still indicating a strong Biden lead over Trump, reducing risks of an upset, unlike in 2016," said Wei Liang Chang, a macro strategist at DBS Bank. Currencies in the region also advanced slightly on the U.S. dollar with Taiwan's dollar standing out with a 1% rise, and the rupiah marginally higher at a two-month high. "Whether the Democrats or Republicans control the Senate will also be watched by markets. A Blue (Democrat) sweep is likely to underpin expectations of a large fiscal stimulus that should buoy equities and pressure the dollar," Chang added. Indications of the election outcome should start to trickle in during Asian trading hours on Wednesday. Bucking the trend, Malaysian stocks dipped 0.2% and the ringgit was flat ahead of a policy meeting later in the day where Bank Negara Malaysia is expected to keep rates unchanged at a record low of 1.75%. While many policymakers in emerging markets having called a halt to a year of constant easing of policy, the Malaysian economy is still struggling and markets will look to the meeting for signs of more policy moves in the months ahead. Stocks were marginally higher in Manila as trading resumed after a public holiday on Monday, recovering from early losses after manufacturing activity in October fell below a reading of 50, which indicates an expansion in activity. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield up 0.6 basis points to 2.646% ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields down 1.5 basis points to 5.289% ** Reuters Poll - FX markets to remain net short U.S. dollar after election Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0348 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan -0.01 +3.71 - -1.53 China -0.02 +4.04 1.13 6.94 India +0.00 -4.09 0.00 -4.10 Indonesia +0.31 -4.80 0.64 -18.28 Malaysia -0.02 -1.61 -0.16 -7.85 Philippines +0.04 +4.71 0.08 -19.02 S.Korea -0.16 +1.85 1.64 6.38 Singapore +0.03 -1.44 1.34 -23.18 Taiwan +1.04 +5.23 1.17 6.18 Thailand +0.16 -3.73 1.15 -23.03 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.