EMERGING MARKETS-Most Asian currencies rise as dollar eases, Singapore hits 3-week high

    * S.Korea's won, Thai baht top gainers
    * Indonesian rupiah scales 5-month high
    * Singapore dollar at 3-week high
    * Indonesia Sept. trade surplus seen narrowing - Reuters

    By Sameer Manekar
    Oct 14 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies gained on Thursday,
after the U.S. dollar eased, with the Singaporean dollar hitting
a three-week high after its central bank unexpectedly tightened
its policy.
    South Korean won and the Thai baht were among the top
percentage gainers in the region, strengthening about half a
percent each.    
    Singapore's dollar firmed as much 0.3% to touch its
highest since Sept. 24, after the Monetary Authority of
Singapore tightened its policy for the first time since October
2018 as the threat of inflation outweighed growth risks posed by
the coronavirus.
    Among equities, Indonesia jumped 1.4% to scale an
over two-year level, Philippines advanced more than 1%
after two straight days of losses. India's Nifty 50
scaled a fresh peak with technology stocks powering the gains.
    The U.S. dollar index touched its lowest this week at
93.987 against major peers on Thursday taking a breather from a
rally that had lifted it to a one-year high powered by
expectations for quicker Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

    "The release of the Fed minutes has reaffirmed expectations
that tapering may begin towards the end of the year in 'either
mid-November or mid-December'", said Yeap Jun Rong, a market
strategist at IG.
    In Asia, South Korea's won gained 0.6% and marked
its best day since late-August, after the finance minister said
the government was ready to deploy measures to stabilize
currency markets if needed. The won has lost more than 5% since
    "Whilst recovery thus far has fallen short of levels
consistent with past Singapore dollar slope reinstatement, a
backdrop of growing inflation risks in quarters ahead, alongside
an adequate recovery, incentivise pre-emptive normalization,"
analysts at Mizuho Bank said in a note.
    Among other currencies, the Thai baht added 0.5% to
scale a three-week high.
    Indonesia's rupiah touched a five-month high after
the holiday island of Bali reopened to foreign tourists after 18
months of a pandemic hiatus.
    The country, Southeast Asia's biggest economy and a thermal
coal exporter, is likely to have logged a growth in September
exports supported by high commodity prices, while trade surplus
is seen narrowing due to rising imports, a Reuters poll showed.

    Meanwhile, China's yuan pulled back from a nearly
four-month high after the central bank set the currency's daily
fixing weaker than expected, with high producer inflation
reading for September adding to policy anxiety.
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields fall 5.5 basis points
to 6.291%
    ** China's factory gate inflation hits record high in
September -
    ** Thai economy bottomed out in Q3 minutes -

  Asia stock indexes and                            
 currencies at   0639 GMT                      
                     DAILY   YTD     X      S  S YTD
                         %     %        DAILY      %
 Japan               -0.27  -9.0  <.N2  1.46   4.03
                               7  25>          
 China    <CNY=CFX   -0.14  +1.4  <.SS   0.04   2.59
          S>                   1  EC>          
 India               +0.09  -2.9  <.NS   0.88  31.04
                               6  EI>          
 Indones             +0.49  -0.7  <.JK   1.18  10.62
 ia                            5  SE>          
 Malaysi             +0.12  -3.2  <.KL  -0.55  -2.19
 a                             3  SE>          
 Philipp             -0.12  -5.1  <.PS   1.62   0.61
 ines                          9  I>           
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   +0.59  -8.4  <.KS   1.50   4.01
          C>                   8  11>          
 Singapo             +0.18  -2.1  <.ST   0.26  11.28
 re                            0  I>           
 Taiwan              +0.09  +1.2  <.TW   0.24  11.23
                               9  II>          
 Thailan             +0.48  -9.7  <.SE  -0.06  13.33
 d                             3  TI>          
 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren