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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares slide on surging cases; China and India drop over 1%

    * Philippines sees biggest single-day jump in cases in over 6 mths
    * U.S. Fed policy meeting ends Wednesday
    * Taiwan, Indonesia central bank meetings on Thursday

    By Nikhil Nainan
    March 15 (Reuters) - Philippine shares fell sharply on Monday, as rising
COVID-19 cases prompted new local restrictions, while the latest rise in U.S.
bond yields quelled appetite for the region's other emerging markets.
    Stocks in India and China fell more than 1%, while in
Southeast Asia, Singapore and Malaysia eked out gains as the
$1,400 direct payments from the $1.9 trillion U.S. package make their way to
households.   
    Yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries hit 13-month highs above 1.64%
on Friday, sapping appetite for Asia's high-yielding bonds, and the currencies
that back them, as well as for frothy equity valuations.
    The region's emerging currencies dipped, with South Korea's won
falling the most at 0.2%. 
    In the Philippines, a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases sent shares
falling as much as 3.6%, their sharpest drop since August. They recovered
slightly toward the end of the trading session, down 2.6%, though remained at
more than four-month lows. 
    The spike in cases has prompted parts of the country to reimpose
restrictions, including in the capital Manila.
    "Sentiment is weighed down by the dramatic increase in COVID-19 infections
as of late," said Jennifer Lomboy, a Manila-based fixed income fund manager at
First Metro Asset.
    She added that this "clouds the country's economic recovery."
    Vaccine supply has also been limited in the Southeast Asian nation so far,
with only frontline medical staff and healthcare workers being given shots in an
inoculation campaign that started this month. 
    Shanghai's composite index fell 1.3% and blue-chip stocks
3% on concerns that authorities may look to tighten policy to keep things from
overheating. The composite index is down around 8% from February highs.
    Earlier this month, the government set a relatively modest 2021 target of
over 6% growth for the world's second largest economy.
    Stocks in the trade-reliant economies of South Korea and Taiwan
 dipped, after rising sharply in recent months on global growth hopes.
    The U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day meeting will end on Wednesday, with
investors on the lookout for any sign that rising inflation expectations will
bring forward policy tightening. 
    Central banks of Indonesia and Taiwan also have their policy review meetings
this week.

    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields up 5.1 basis points at 6.774%
    ** In the Philippines, the top losers were Alliance Global Group Inc
, Ayala Corp Megaworld Corp down 
    ** China's factory output surges as recovery accelerates    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at   0650 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    -0.25    -5.55           0.17     8.46
 China                    +0.04    +0.34           -1.27    -1.84
 India                    +0.15    +0.54           -1.34    6.06
 Indonesia                -0.07    -2.43           -0.30    6.02
 Malaysia                 -0.02    -2.36           0.40     -0.31
 Philippines              -0.05    -1.02           -2.62    -8.23
 S.Korea                  -0.22    -4.41           -0.28    5.99
 Singapore                -0.16    -1.94           0.20     9.06
 Taiwan                   -0.19    +0.85           -0.04    10.30
 Thailand                 +0.07    -2.57           -0.03    8.17
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore
and Rashmi Aich)
  
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