Indonesian, Philippine stocks buoyed by easing of 19 lockdowns
* U.S. consumer price data due at 1230 GMT
* Most currencies subdued
* Philippine shares hit a more than 3-month high
* KOSPI on track for its best day since Aug. 31
By Indranil Sarkar
Sept 14 (Reuters) - Easing COVID-19 restrictions helped stocks in Indonesia and Philippines rise on Tuesday, while emerging Asian currencies lacked direction ahead of U.S. inflation data due later in the day which will give clues on the Fed's tapering plans.
Indonesian equities and the rupiah IDR=ID surged after the country eased pandemic induced curbs in its popular tourist island of Bali, though international travellers would face stricter protocols on arrival to help curb the spread of new variants.
Philippine authorities said the country's capital region would shift to localised lockdowns and an alert level system starting September 16, a move that would allow more businesses to resume operations.
That sent the country's benchmark stock index .PSI up 0.7% to its highest level in more than 3 months. The peso, on the other hand, weakened 0.1%.
"(The easing of lockdowns) would allow economic activity to return in some areas deemed to have a lower risk rating," said Nicholas Mapa, Senior Economist at ING.
Mapa expected gains to be capped, however, as most market participants keep a close eye on the number of daily infections. The Philippines had posted record daily new cases on Sept. 11.
Currencies elsewhere were mostly flat on Tuesday ahead of the key U.S. CPI data, which will give a broad picture of the country's economic recovery ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting next week.
The Fed is monitoring price pressures keenly as it contemplates when to crimp its massive bond purchases and lift interest rates from near zero levels. The Thai baht THB=TH , Singapore dollar SGD= and the Malaysian ringgit MYR= were all trading flat to marginally stronger.
South Korean stocks .KS11 were on track for their best session in two weeks. The United States and South Korea, in a meeting on Monday, stressed on the importance of working together to strengthen supply chains, including for semiconductors.
Stocks in China .SSEC were little changed a day ahead of its retail sales, industrial output and urban investment data, which analysts fear will show a further slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy.
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields up 1.8 basis points at 6.18%
** In the Philippines, top index gainer was Converge Information & Communications Technology Solutions Inc CNVRG.PS , up 3.6%
** Top gainer on the Jakarta stock index .JKSE was WEHA Transportasi Indonesia Tbk PT WEHA.JK , up 29.41% Asia stock indexes and currencies
at 0348 GMT
FX FX YTD
STOCKS STOCKS YTD RY
Japan <JPY= -0.06 -6.19 .N225
China <CNY= 0.07
0 -0.82 .NSEI
0 -1.47 .JKSE
2.28 esia >
Malay <MYR= 0.05 -3.06 .KLSE
Phili <PHP= -0.14 -3.83 .PSI
-1.85 ppine >
S.Kor <KRW= 0.34 -7.32 .KS11
Singa <SGD= -0.07 -1.62 .STI
8.53 pore >
Taiwa <TWD= 0.11
Thail <THB= -0.06 -8.99 .SETI
Graphic: World FX rates Link
Asian stock markets Link
Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln
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