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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies rise on yuan boost, China services survey

    * Yuan, Shanghai stocks jump as China markets reopen after holiday
    * Indian stocks, rupee lifted by c.bank comments
    * Philippines benchmark marks over 1% weekly drop
    * Taiwan, South Korea markets closed for public holidays

    By Shruti Sonal
    Oct 9 (Reuters) - Asia's emerging market currencies edged higher on Friday
following a jump in the yuan as Chinese markets reopened after a week-long
break, underpinned by upbeat services sector survey and growing bets of a Biden
victory in the U.S. presidential elections.
    The yuan jumped 1.3% to a 17-month high against the U.S. dollar, catching up
with gains in its offshore counterpart during the holidays in the mainland. 
    A softer U.S. dollar, as investors wager on the likelihood of more stimulus
measures if Democrats sweep the Nov. 3 election, also aided the yuan and the
region.
    The Philippine peso and Thai baht edged 0.1% and 0.2% higher
respectively.
    An industry survey showed growth in China's services sector accelerated in
September, suggesting its economic recovery is becoming more balanced and
continues to gain momentum. China is the main driver of growth in the region.

    India's rupee edged higher after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
left its key interest rates unchanged as widely expected, while retaining an
accommodative policy stance to support the coronavirus-ravaged economy.

    RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the economy is expected to contract by
9.5% in the current fiscal year but will return to growth in the final
January-March quarter, further lifting shares.
    However, analysts remained cautious about whether the strength in local
regional currencies could endure. 
    "I don't know whether this rally could sustain, given the fact that we're
heading towards the U.S. election and that there could be plenty of political
uncertainties down the road," said Margaret Yang, a Singapore-based strategist
at DailyFX.
    Philippine stocks dipped 0.2% and ended the week more than 1% lower.
    The country reported its largest daily increase in COVID-19 deaths in more
than three weeks on Thursday. There were also lingering concerns over a possible
delay in passing a crucial $89 billion budget to rebuild its battered economy.

    Data showing a sharp drop in both imports and exports in August added to
concerns of underlying weakness of the Philippine economy. The peso is
also Asia's top performer so far this year.
    "Trends in Philippine trade data continue to be supportive of our view for
peso strength in the near term," ING analysts said in a note.
    Elsewhere, stock markets were largely muted in sharp comparison to Shanghai
stocks playing catch-up with a near 2% jump.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Philippines' Converge ICT Solutions Inc prices the country's second
largest ever initial public offering
    ** Protests continue in the Indonesian capital against a polarising new jobs
law
    ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is up 0.9 basis points at 2.695%
    
            Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0737 GMT
 COUNTRY       FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                           DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                       +0.06  +2.51             -0.12   -0.16
 China                       +1.22  +3.66              1.68    7.28
 India                       +0.12  -2.42              0.62   -2.14
 Indonesia                   +0.07  -5.42              0.05  -19.97
 Malaysia                    +0.14  -1.33              0.15   -4.22
 Philippines                 +0.10  +4.69             -0.19  -24.10
 S.Korea                         -  +0.27                 -    8.84
 Singapore                   +0.11  -0.89             -0.20  -21.25
 Taiwan                          -  +3.94                 -    7.42
 Thailand                    +0.19  -3.86             -0.44  -19.66
 
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
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