Asian currencies, stocks weaken on doubts over when Fed will slow rate rises



*

S. Korean won falls more than 1%

*

Philippine's Nov inflation rises 8.0% vs 7.7% in Oct

*

Stocks in Jakarta top losers

By Upasana Singh

Dec 6 (Reuters) - Most Asian emerging currencies and stock markets took a beating on Tuesday as strong U.S. services data supported the dollar by raising doubts over how soon the Federal Reserve would begin to opt for smaller hikes in interest rates.

Uncertainty over the Fed's intentions overshadowed optimism about China beginning to relax its zero-COVID strategy.

South Korea's won KRW=KFTC and Malaysia's ringgit MYR= depreciated 1.3% and 0.3%, respectively. Indonesia's rupiah IDR= fell 0.6%.

The U.S. dollar index =USD , which measures the currency against six major peers, changed hands at 105.11 in early Asian trading, easing 0.1% after Monday's 0.7% rally, its biggest since Nov. 21.

"The major factor for the market would be growing concerns over Fed's rate hikes which has led to some profits-taking on risky assets and rally in the U.S. dollar," said Poon Panichpibool, Markets Strategist at Krung Thai Bank.

Panichpibool said Asian currencies could outperform the dollar next year, as the greenback peaks.

Thailand's baht THB=TH dropped 0.7%, while equities in Bangkok .SETI shed 0.1%.

"The reason that the Thai baht has weakened today could come from some hedging position which may have turn(ed) after the U.S. data was better than expected yesterday," said Kittika Boonsrang, capital markets business research specialist at Kasikornbank.

Meanwhile, Philippine annual inflation surged to a 14-year high in November driven mainly by higher food prices, thereby supporting the case for a half-percentage point interest rate hike this month.

The country's central bank has raised rates six times this year to meet its inflation target of 2%-4% for the year. Last week, its governor flagged another 25 basis points or 50 basis points hike at the Dec. 15 meeting.

The peso PHP= depreciated 0.1%, while stocks in Manila .PSI gained 1.5%.

Bucking the broader trend, Singapore's dollar SGD= appreciated 0.2% to be the only bright spot among Asian emerging currencies.

Stocks in Asia also remained on the backfoot, with Indonesia's benchmark index .JKSE retreating 1.1% and leading losses in the region.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** China may announce 10 new COVID easing steps on Weds -sources

** New PM Anwar says Malaysia to review plans for 5G network

** Sanurhasta Mitra MINA.JK and Citra Tubindo CTBN.JK lead laggards on Indonesia's benchmark index .JKSE

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0339 GMT. Asia stock indexes and currencies at

0338 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC

FX

FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS

DAILY % YTD %

X DAILY YTD %

% Japan

JPY=

-0.10 -15.9 <.N2 0.29 -3.09

3 25>

China

<CNY=CFXS

-0.23 -8.91 <.SS

0.11 -11.66

>

EC>

India

INR=IN

-0.38 -9.46 <.NS

0.00

7.76

EI>

Indonesi IDR=

-0.62 -8.42 <.JK -1.13

4.96 a

SE>

Malaysia MYR=

-0.25 -4.87 <.KL -0.10 -6.22

SE>

Philippi PHP=

-0.11 -8.96 <.PS

1.54 -8.16 nes

I>

S.Korea <KRW=KFTC

-1.29 -9.22 <.KS -0.62 -19.26

>

11>

Singapor SGD=

+0.24 -0.43 <.ST -0.44

4.15 e

I>

Taiwan

TWD=TP

-0.29 -9.34 <.TW -0.67 -18.32

II>

Thailand THB=TH

-0.71 -4.59 <.SE -0.10 -1.06

TI>


Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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