By Jaskiran Singh
May 23 (Reuters) - Asian currencies were little changed on Tuesday, with the dollar getting a boost from rising expectations that U.S. interest rates will remain elevated for longer, while traders awaited the outcome of U.S. debt ceiling talks.
The Thai baht THB=THdepreciated the most among its peers, falling 0.6%, eyeing losses for a sixth session, and falling to its lowest since March 15.
The Indonesian rupiah IDR=, Philippines peso PHP=, and Singapore dollar SGD= were little changed.
The South Korean won KRW=KFTCappreciated 0.4% and its local benchmark .KS11 rose, buoyed by optimism for a deal on the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations.
While vowing to keep the talks alive, U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy could not reach an agreement Monday on how to raise the U.S. government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling with just 10 days before a possible default.
"Weakness in Asian FXs is likely due to strength in the dollar after some U.S. Federal Reserve officials still supported tightening monetary policy with a couple of 25 basis point rate hikes or maintaining the Fed Funds Target rate at 5.25% for much longer than what the market has been pricing in," said Poon Panichpibool, markets strategist at Krung Thai Bank.
In Asia, a Reuters poll showed that Bank Indonesia (BI) was forecasted to keep rates unchanged until the end of 2023 to support the economy amid a softening of the commodity prices that the resource-rich country relies on for growth.
Meanwhile, only a small minority of economists polled forecasted a rate cut this year.
With Indonesia's core inflation easing and the rupiah strengthening, analysts at Barclays said they see scope for BI to turn opportunistic in cutting the policy rate to support the economy.
Last week, the Philippines central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, kept its benchmark interest rate steady, as expected, and signalled a continued pause in policy tightening for the next two to three meetings.
Later in the day, Singapore will release its April inflation numbers with DBS analysts expecting headline CPI inflation to stay sticky in April at 5.5% higher than a year earlier, after March's step-down to 5.5%.
Stocks in Asia were largely upbeat with Indonesian .JKSE and Singapore .STI equities gaining 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively, with Thailand shares .SETI dipping 0.3%.
** Taiwan April export orders miss forecast, outlook cautious
** EXCLUSIVE-Malaysian tycoon weighs selling a stake in $2.7 bln port business -sources
** Indonesia Jan-April budget surplus at $15.97 bln, 1.12% of GDP - finmin
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0338 GMT
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Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
Asian stock markets https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
(Reporting by Jaskiran Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
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