* Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
* Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
* Fed's dot-plot could signal one rate hike in 2023 -
* Indonesian rupiah, stocks off 0.4% ahead of Thursday
* Bank Indonesia seen keeping rates at record low
* Strong export data shields Singapore equities from deeper
March 17 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies edged lower and
equity markets were subdued ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's
policy meeting, where investors will closely look for signals of
possible interest rate hikes in 2023 and comments on rising bond
A mixed session on Wall Street and spike in 10-year U.S.
Treasury yields overnight kept markets on edge, and Asian bond
yields remained close to multi-month highs scaled recently on
expectations of higher inflation and economic growth.
While Fed policymakers are expected to paint a rosy picture
for U.S. economy in 2021, investors have been worrying that this
may cause a potential increase in interest rates sooner than
earlier expected, or that asset purchases might taper off.
"I don't think there'll be a pushback against higher yields.
We could see a risk that the dot-plot for 2023 will show a hike,
but I think Chair Jerome Powell is going to downplay the
significance of the dot-plot," said Sim Moh Siong, FX Strategist
at Bank of Singapore.
"I think the market has more or less priced-in the
likelihood that they could show a dot-plot of one hike. If it
remains unchanged for 2023, it will send a very dovish signal."
Indonesia's rupiah and benchmark share index
fell most in the region, with both down 0.4%, ahead of its own
central bank meeting on Thursday, with rates expected to be held
at record lows.
The rupiah has weakened nearly 4% since its last peak on
Feb. 16, and since then, benchmark 10-year government bond
yields have spiked about 49.5 basis points to
Worries of capital outflows in emerging markets have been
rife due to the rising U.S. yields, prompting most Asian central
banks to reaffirm support for bond markets and spell out their
level of tolerance towards potential spikes in inflation.
Analysts at OCBC said they do not expect Asian central banks
to rush to hike rates ahead of the Fed, saying the markets'
near-term rate hike pricings seemed aggressive as U.S. rates
would likely stay unchanged till end-2022 at least.
Singapore's Straits' Times index slipped marginally,
shielded from broader losses by strong February adjusted non-oil
exports data, which recorded a 8.2% rise versus the preceding
month and overshot expectations.
Philippines shares climbed about 0.5%, bouncing back
after a sharp drop on Monday when news of a virus spike and
fresh restrictions battered the market.
Metropolitan Bank and Trust gained over 3%, while
Aboitiz Equity Ventures added 2.8%.
** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index
include Sime Darby Bhd down 3.23% and Hartalega
Holdings Bhd down 1.64%
** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include
Akbar Indo Makmur Stimec Tbk PT down 7% and Bank
Ganesha Tbk PT down 7%
** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is up 0.8 basis points
Asia stock indexes and
currencies at 0408 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCK
DAILY YTD % X DAILY S YTD
% % %
Japan -0.09 -5.35 <.N2 -0.22 8.79
China <CNY=CFX +0.05 +0.40 <.SS -0.31 -1.07
India +0.00 +0.71 <.NS 0.04 6.68
Indones -0.31 -2.80 <.JK -0.44 5.06
Malaysi -0.11 -2.34 <.KL -0.23 -0.43
Philipp -0.01 -1.24 <.PS 0.52 -7.66
S.Korea <KRW=KFT -0.12 -3.97 <.KS -0.96 5.71
Singapo -0.14 -1.92 <.ST -0.11 9.08
Taiwan -0.26 +0.52 <.TW -0.32 10.38
Thailan -0.13 -2.70 <.SE 0.15 8.08
(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok and Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru;
Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)