EMERGING MARKETS-Thai baht rises more than 1%, other Asian currencies subdued

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    * South Korea's won hits over 1-year low
    * Thai baht scales over two-week high
    * India retail inflation likely fell to 5-mth low in Sept -
Businesshala poll

    By Sameer Manekar
    Oct 12 (Businesshala) - While most Asian currencies were subdued
on Tuesday, Thailand's baht gained more than 1% to scale an over
two-week peak after the government eased quarantine rules for
visitors from low-risk countries in a bid to revive its key
tourism sector.
    Among other currencies, South Korea's won slipped
0.5% to hit its lowest level in more than a year, and equities
 lost nearly 2% to touch their lowest level this year,
even as the central bank kept the benchmark interest rate
unchanged.
    Analysts at Capital Economics expect the Bank of Korea to
make two further 25 basis points hikes by the third-quarter next
year, with another in early 2023, they said in a note.
    The Thai baht gained up to 1.2% to hit its highest
level since late September after the tourism-reliant nation
ended quarantine rules for vaccinated visitors from 10 low-risk
countries, including the United States, Singapore and China.

    "The reaction on the recent Thai baht rally is largely due
to the news of reopening, but I don't think it will extend the
rally that much as fundamentals for the Thai economy remain
weak," said Poon Panichpibool, a market strategist at Krung Thai
Bank.
    "It will be up to the direction of the U.S. dollar which
will be weaker once the Fed begins tapering, with another factor
being the foreign fund flows which the reopening theme might
help," he said, adding that he expects the baht to end the year
at 33-33.25 per dollar.
    The baht is currently trading at about 33.48 per dollar.
    Meanwhile, broader Asian shares dropped and the safe-haven
dollar held firm as a global energy crunch fuelled inflation
fears. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan was down 0.9% and China's Shanghai
Composite Index lost 1%.
    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of peers, was trading at 94.309 as of 0610 GMT,
below its one-year high of 94.504 touched at the end of last
month.
    Among Southeast Asian equities, Indonesia and
Malaysia added half a percent each, while Singapore's
shares declined 0.5% ahead of the advanced third-quarter
economic growth data expected on Thursday.
    Preliminary growth data may show Singapore expanded 6.6% on
year versus a 14.7% growth in the prior quarter, a Businesshala poll
showed.
    India's Nifty 50 slipped from a record high touched
in the previous session, while the rupee appreciated
modestly ahead of September retail inflation data due later in
the day.
    According to a Businesshala poll, India's retail inflation likely
eased again in September, falling to a five-month low owing to a
favourable comparison last year and moderating food prices.

    Investors are also awaiting U.S. inflation and retail sales
numbers later this week, with continued expectations that the
Federal Reserve will begin tightening its policy next month
        
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields edges to 6.370%
    ** China's export, import growth likely eased in Sept. -

    ** China's Evergrande misses 3rd round of bond coupon
payments -
    
  Asia stock indexes and                            
 currencies at   0620 GMT                      
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX    FX  INDE  STOCK  STOCK
                     DAILY   YTD     X      S  S YTD
                         %     %        DAILY      %
                                            %  
 Japan               +0.11  -8.7  <.N2  -0.94  2.87
                               7  25>          
 China                       8  EC>          
 India               +0.07  -2.9  <.NS  -0.28  28.00
                               7  EI>          
 Indones             -0.07  -1.2  <.JK   0.54   8.62
 ia                            3  SE>          
 Malaysi             +0.00  -3.5  <.KL   0.51  -2.98
 a                             5  SE>          
 Philipp             +0.03  -5.5  <.PS  -0.23  -0.45
 ines                          2  I>           
 S.Korea                     6  11>          
 Singapo             -0.07  -2.5  <.ST  -0.54   8.89
 re                            8  I>           
 Taiwan              -0.34  +1.2  <.TW  -1.07  11.74
                               1  II>          
 Thailan             +1.23  -10.  <.SE   0.45  13.21
 d                            43  TI>          
 
    

 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon
Cameron-Moore and Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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