EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies broadly steady after yuan move, Taiwan sees export boost

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Taiwan's July export orders up 12.4% y/y 
    * Yuan pulls back after hitting seven-month high against USD
    * S. Korean shares stage sharp rebound

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    Aug 21 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies struggled for
direction on Friday as the yuan pulled back after hitting a
seven-month high against the U.S. dollar, while the Taiwan
dollar strengthened on the back of better-than-expected export
    The yuan often tends to set the tone for the region's
emerging markets, for whom China is the largest trading partner.
    The currency, which has profited from the
dollar's weakness since flirting with long-term lows above 7 per
dollar in May, strengthened to 6.896 per dollar in onshore
trade, its highest since Jan. 22, before paring gains.
    The ringgit, won and Thai baht,
which have all mirrored the yuan's recovery against the dollar
in recent months, hovered around flat for the day in response. 
    Traders said the yuan and other regional currencies should
stay supported as long as U.S.-China talks on their existing
Phase 1 trade deal do not deliver another shock.
    "There remain expectations that the rhetoric could heat up
on U.S.-China relations, but given the importance of the trade
deal to both the U.S. and China, the market is broadly expecting
the agreement to stay intact," said Jingyi Pan, a market
strategist at IG Asia. 
    South Korean shares staged a sharp rebound,
following a more than 3% decline in the previous session as a 
preliminary trade report showed exports in Asia's fourth-largest
economy contracted less in the first 20 days of August than in
    Taiwan's export orders, a bellwether for global technology
demand, grew at the strongest pace in two-and-a-half-years in
July on strong demand for telecommuting products as the pandemic
forced millions of people around the world to stay home.

    The island's dollar gained 0.5% against its U.S.
counterpart and was on course for its biggest weekly gain since
early June, while stocks rose 2%. 
    "With the COVID-19 outbreak well under control relative to
peers in the region, Taiwan's mobility is less restrictive and
business activities could still continue, supporting growth and
jobs," said Christopher Wong, a senior FX strategist at Maybank
    In Thailand, shares were up marginally in early
trade as further arrests of activists after more than a month of
protests against the military-backed government added to
political concerns.
    Markets in Indonesia and the Philippines were closed for
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are
down 1 basis points at 1.325%
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Genting
Singapore Ltd up 2.17% at S$0.705, Wilmar
International Ltd up 1.83% at S$4.44
    ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include
Symphony Communication PCL up 14.21% at 4.18 baht, CPL
Group PCL up ​12.62% at 1.16 baht
  Asia stock indexes and                                 
 currencies at   0414 GMT                          
                      DAILY  YTD %              S   YTD %
                          %                 DAILY  
 Japan                +0.12  +2.79  <.N225   0.44   -2.85
 China     <CNY=CFXS  +0.11  +0.80  <.SSEC   0.78   11.15
           >                        >              
 India                 0.00  -4.86  <.NSEI   0.84   -6.26
 Malaysia             -0.10  -2.04  <.KLSE   0.10   -0.74
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFTC  +0.08  -2.50  <.KS11   2.27    5.83
           >                        >              
 Singapor             +0.06  -1.59           0.47  -21.19
 Taiwan               +0.48  +2.47  <.TWII   1.91    5.01
 Thailand             -0.13  -4.96  <.SETI   0.19  -17.76

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Patrick Graham and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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