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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks slip on economic recovery worries, Fed guidance awaited

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Singapore shares retreat from one-week high
    * Thai baht, Taiwan dollar top gainers among Asia FX

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    Aug 26 (Reuters) - Asian stocks drifted lower on Wednesday
as rising COVID-19 cases and grim U.S. data dented sentiment,
while currencies slipped into a holding pattern ahead of U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome's Powell's speech.
    With U.S. consumer confidence dropping to a six-year low,
Singapore shares retreated from a one-week high hit on
Tuesday on signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations,
while the Shanghai Composite index eased 1.3%.
    Seoul's export-focused KOSPI managed a marginal gain
and the won ended down 0.1%, as health authorities
warned that South Korea was on the brink of a nationwide
COVID-19 outbreak.
    In currency markets, traders were firmly focused on Powell's
speech on the U.S. central bank's policy framework review at
this year's virtual edition of the Jackson Hole symposium on
Thursday.
    Investors are waiting to see if Powell signals a shift in
the Fed's inflation target to an average, which would allow
inflation to rise more quickly than in the past.
    The Indonesian rupiah traded 0.3% lower, while the
Thai baht found some support from more stimulus
measures to support domestic tourism.
    India's rupee dipped slightly as dealers reported
the central bank's return to the market after a halt in
intervention against the currency on Monday, which had helped
the rupee surge against the dollar. 
    "The reason why the central bank could have let the 74.50
level break is to shatter complacency and prevent speculative
positions from building up," said Abhishek Goenka, chief
executive officer of forex advisory services firm IFA Global. 
    "We expect USD purchases and reserve accumulation by the
central bank to continue."  
    Philippine shares, the worst performer in the region
so far this year, fell 0.4% as coronavirus cases continued to
rise, in what appears to be the largest outbreak in Southeast
Asia.
    "The Philippine market in particular is smaller in size and
has lower liquidity. The growth outlook is constrained but we
believe the combination of cheap valuations and large
underweight positioning reflects that already," said Devendra
Joshi, ASEAN and frontier markets equity strategist at HSBC
Global Research.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Top losers on FTSE Straits Times Index include
SATS Ltd, down 4.2% at S$2.97, and United Overseas
Bank, down 2.3% at S$19.59
    ** Top gainers on Thailand's SETI include VGI PCL
, up 14.3% at 6.8 baht, and Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand)
, up 5.5% at 71.5 baht 

    
  Asia stock indexes and                                     
 currencies at   0721 GMT                              
 COUNTRY   FX RIC        FX     FX       INDEX  STOCK  STOCKS
                      DAILY  YTD %                  S   YTD %
                          %                     DAILY  
                                                    %  
 Japan                +0.05  +2.16              -0.03   -1.55
 China     <CNY=CFXS  +0.19  +0.95              -1.30    9.17
           >                                           
 India                -0.13  -4.08               0.04   -5.69
 Indonesi             -0.31  -5.48              -0.14  -15.37
 a                                                     
 Malaysia             -0.07  -1.92              -0.32   -2.44
 Philippi             +0.03  +4.38              -0.37  -24.11
 nes                                                   
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFTC  -0.14  -2.56               0.11    7.81
           >                                           
 Singapor             -0.07  -1.78              -0.76  -21.20
 e                                                     
 Taiwan               +0.43  +2.47               0.59    6.97
 Thailand             +0.38  -4.59               0.44  -16.33
 

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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