Singapore shares jump as Asia takes Fed signals in stride
* Thai baht set to snap 5-day losing run
* Singapore stocks track best day in 2 months
* Markets look for Evergrande update
By Shashwat Awasthi
Sept 23 (Reuters) - Singapore equities headed for their best day in two months on Thursday, leading broad gains in emerging Asian stocks, as investors reacted calmly to the U.S. Federal Reserve's timeline to taper asset purchases and hike rates.
The U.S. central bank on Wednesday cleared the way to begin reducing its monthly bond purchases as soon as November, and half of its policymakers projected borrowing costs will need to rise in 2022.
Asian shares also found some solace on Thursday after embattled property developer China Evergrande's 3333.HK chairman sought to reassure investors and the company's unit said it had "resolved" a coupon payment on an onshore bond.
Singapore shares .STI were on track for their best day since July 22, while stocks in Indonesia .JKSE , Malaysia .KLSE and Thailand .SETI added around 0.5% each.
Manila stocks .PSI traded 0.4% higher, while the peso PHP= was flat as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) was expected to keep interest rates at a record low.
"With headline inflation stubbornly above BSP's 4% top-side and rising even as economic prospects are dimmed by the Delta outbreak and associated lockdowns, BSP is in a bind," Mizuho analysts said.
Philippines' inflation quickened to 4.9% last month, above the policymakers' 2%-4% target range, which economists have warned is likely to limit BSP's room for further policy easing.
"While headline CPI showed an upside surprise in Aug, the implementation of direct non-monetary measures are seen to mitigate further supply-side pressures," analysts at Maybank said.
They expect BSP to maintain its 2% policy rate until 2021-end to support economic recovery.
Several regional currencies including the Singapore dollar SGD= and Malaysian ringgit MYR= inched up after the U.S. dollar eased from session highs, even as Evergrande's deadline to pay interest on a dollar bond loomed.
The Thai baht THB= recovered from a 0.4% drop earlier in the session to trade flat, despite the country's decision to delay reopening cities to foreign tourists.
South Korean stocks .KS11 played catch-up on their return to trading after an extended holiday, but slipped 0.4%.
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark ID10YR=RR yields up 1.3 basis points at 6.218%.
** The top gainer on the Singapore benchmark index was Hongkong Land Holdings HKLD.SI , up 4.3%.
Asia stock indexes and
currencies at 0638 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC
INDE STOCKS STOCK
DAILY YTD % X
DAILY S YTD
-0.07 -6.03 <.N2 0.00 8.00
China <CNY=CFXS -0.04 +0.96 <.SS 0.25 4.73
+0.19 -0.90 <.NS 1.06 26.83
-0.04 -1.44 <.JK 0.41 2.58 ia
+0.12 -3.97 <.KL 0.55 -5.52
+0.06 -4.48 <.PS 0.36 -3.14 ines
S.Korea <KRW=KFTC -0.04 -7.60 <.KS -0.41 8.84
+0.25 -2.17 <.ST 1.28 8.55 re
+0.04 +2.56 <.TW 0.90 15.92
+0.06 -10.3 <.SE 0.45 12.25
Graphic: World FX rates Link
Asian stock markets Link
Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.
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