* Thai benchmark index hits highest since Sept. 21
    * Most currencies edge up as U.S. dollar nurses losses
    * Chinese markets reopen after a week-long holiday on Friday

    By Shruti Sonal
    Oct 8 (Reuters) - Thai stocks climbed 1% on Thursday as the
government outlined measures to boost consumption in its
coronavirus-battered economy, while a late recovery helped
Philippine shares edge up in tandem with gains in most of Asia's
emerging markets.
    The safe-haven U.S. dollar nursed losses after the revival
of hopes for some stimulus spending in the world's biggest
economy improved investor sentiment, supporting local currencies
in Asia, which edged higher. The Taiwan dollar was
again the main standout, rising almost 1%.
    Thailand's benchmark index hit its highest in more
than two weeks after officials on Wednesday added a tax
deduction on purchases of goods and services to previously
announced cash handouts and subsidies.
    The tourism-reliant economy has also started receiving its
first visitors after months of travel curbs and its markets have
proven relatively immune to growing protests against the
army-backed government.
    "Overall, the outlook for the country's economy in the first
quarter should be better," said Sunthorn Thongthip, a
Thailand-based strategist at Kasikorn Securities.
    Siam City Cement PCL hit a near one-month high on
news that its unit was set to raise up to $1.5 billion,
Thailand's second-largest public offering this year, after
pricing shares for its initial offering at the top end of its
range.
    Philippine stocks, which closed lower for the last
three sessions, reversed losses from earlier in the session to
rise more than 1%.
    Nicholas Mapa, ING's senior economist for the Philippines,
attributed the reversal to bargain hunting as global sentiment
improved overnight on hopes for U.S. stimulus measures.
    Reports overnight of the Trump administration exploring
restrictions on China's Ant Group and Tencent Holdings
over national security concerns weighed on sentiment in
trade-reliant Singapore, said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC
Markets.
    "The news can explain the negative feedback on the Singapore
markets given that we have significant relations with China and
most of the Chinese tech firms have set up their operational
hubs in Singapore," added Wong.
    Singapore stocks edged 0.1% lower.
    Markets in China, the region's biggest market and main
engine of growth, will reopen after a week-long holiday on
Friday. 
    Malaysia, where markets have settled after the
government dented opposition efforts of a takeover by winning a
recent election, gained 0.7%. 

    
    HIGHLIGHTS: 
    
    ** Thailand's Siam Cement Group Packaging Pcl (SCGP) set to
raise up to $1.5 billion after pricing shares for its IPO at the
top end of its range in the country's second-largest listing
this year
    ** Philippine budget carrier Cebu Air Inc plans to
raise roughly $500 million to weather the pandemic
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 0.5 basis
point at 6.901%
    
            Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0654 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX          FX       FX      INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    -0.02    +2.48            0.96     -0.04
 China                    -        +2.42            -        5.51
 India                    +0.06    -2.61            1.26     -2.32
 Indonesia                +0.00    -5.51            0.23     -20.38
 Malaysia                 +0.12    -1.47            0.78     -5.51
 Philippines              +0.25    +4.78            1.27     -23.96
 S.Korea                  +0.42    +0.27            0.21     8.84
 Singapore                +0.11    -0.98            -0.10    -21.31
 Taiwan                   +0.94    +4.92            1.10     7.42
 Thailand                 +0.26    -4.01            0.97     -19.24
 
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  

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