EMERGING MARKETS-Asian FX slightly weaker on inflation, global growth worries

    * Asian stocks struggle for direction
    * Singapore's April core CPI up 3.3% year-on-year
    * Bank Indonesia's policy meeting on Tuesday awaited

    By Harish Sridharan
    May 23 (Reuters) - Asian currencies came under pressure on
Monday due to persistent concerns over inflation and global
economic growth, though Singapore's dollar bucked the trend as
the city-state released data showing the fastest rise in core
inflation in a decade. 
    Thailand's baht, India's rupee and the
Philippine peso weakened 0.1% each, while the Singapore
dollar earlier strengthened as much as 0.4%, to hit a
two-and-a-half week high against a broadly weak U.S. dollar.  
    The dollar traded heavily against major currencies,
following its first weekly loss in nearly two months, as
investors cut bets on further dollar gains from rising U.S.
    "Chatter of U.S. recession risks and hence less pressure for
the U.S. Federal Reserve to tighten aggressively (have seen)
rate hike bets and USD longs unwind," said Christopher Wong,
senior FX strategist at Maybank. 
    Wong added that relative stabilisation of the yuan
, a pullback in U.S. Treasury yields, China's
unexpectedly large borrowing rate cut for mortgages on Friday
and signs of Shanghai reopening have aided sentiment in Asia. 
    The yuan, which recorded its biggest weekly jump since
October 2020 last week, was up 0.1%. China's rate cut was its
second reduction this year as Beijing attempts to revive an
ailing housing sector to prop up the economy.
    Stocks in the region struggled for direction. Equities in
Bangkok and Taipei were both up 0.5%, while
those in Singapore and the Philippines traded in
the red.
    Singapore's core inflation rate — the central bank's
favoured price measure - rose to 3.3% in April on a year-on-year
basis, the highest since February 2012, driven by higher food
prices. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 3.4%
    Meanwhile, both the Indonesian rupiah and stocks in
Jakarta were marginally weaker ahead of Bank Indonesia's
policy meeting on Tuesday. 
    Economists in a Reuters poll predicted the Indonesian
central bank will wait a few more months to raise rates from a
record low despite rising inflation and aggressive tightening by
the U.S. Federal Reserve.
    Nearly one-third of respondents, eight of 27, said the first
rate rise would be in June, and the remaining 17 said it would
come at one of the monthly meetings between July and September.
    ** Singapore dollar hits highest since May 5
    ** On Friday, Taiwan's export orders fell for the first time
in 25 months in April
    ** South Korea's exports for the first 20 days of May jumped
24.1% year-on-year
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0503 GMT
                           DAILY  YTD %               S   YTD %
                               %                  DAILY  
 Japan                     +0.32  -9.70           0.64   -6.53
 China                     +0.10  -4.94           -0.47  -13.96
 India                     -0.13  -4.27            0.32   -5.97
 Indonesia                 -0.11  -2.84           -1.10    3.95
 Malaysia                  -0.05  -5.13            0.15   -1.03
 Philippines               -0.11  -2.42           -0.48   -5.73
 S.Korea                   -0.14  -6.39           -0.04  -11.40
 Singapore                 +0.28  -1.97           -0.49    3.24
 Taiwan                    -0.05  -6.67            0.45  -10.99
 Thailand                  -0.15  -2.68            0.50   -1.60

 (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonali