EMERGING MARKETS-Philippines leads Asian stocks higher on Wall Street boost
March 16 (Reuters) - The Philippines led most of Asia's emerging stock markets higher on Tuesday on the back of record highs for Wall Street's main indexes, although gains were capped ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting this week.
Stock market gains were generally below half a percent, with only the Philippines .PSI slightly outperforming with a 0.6% rise after a sharp fall in the previous session when a surge in COVID-19 cases prompted new local restrictions.
A slight pullback in U.S. bond yields also supported appetite for the region's currencies ahead of a two-day U.S. central bank meeting ending on Wednesday where the focus will be on any comments about the run-up in yields, which have risen on bets of faster growth and inflation.
Yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries US10YT=RR were trading at 1.59%, off 13-month highs of 1.64% hit on Friday. A further rise could sap appetite for higher-yielding emerging markets in Asia.
Asian market "gains may be limited ahead of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting later this week," OCBC Bank analysts said in a note.
Following the Fed statement, the central banks of Indonesia and Taiwan will hold their policy meetings on Thursday.
The rupiah IDR=, which edged higher on Tuesday, has lost more than 3% since Feb. 16, while Indonesia's benchmark 10-year government bond yield ID10YT=RR has risen 51 basis points to 6.794%.
Bank Indonesia is widely expected to keep rates unchanged, according to a Reuters poll. nL4N2LD2I8
Singapore shares .STI, which have been trading at around one-year highs, dipped on Tuesday.
Total employment in the city-state shrank the most in more than two decades in 2020, data showed, with foreigners' jobs accounting for most of the decline. nB8N2DT01L
Shanghai's composite index .SSEC rose 0.2%, while South Korean shares .KS11 advanced 0.6%.
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields up 3.59 basis points at 6.794%
** Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Bank of the Philippine Islands BPI.PS and Ayala Corp AC.PS rose the most
** Malaysian palm oil producer FGV jumps nearly 25% after surviving Felda's bid nL4N2LE0R9
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0345 GMT
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(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)
((NikhilKurian.Nainan@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @NikhilKurianN))