Asian equities post declines

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    Philippine shares fell nearly 3 percent on Friday, leading declines across Asia, as a rise in US bond yields continued to sap appetite for the region’s equities and currencies.

    Indonesia’s rupiah and Taiwan’s dollar fell around half a percent against a firmer greenback after their central banks left interest rates unchanged on Thursday. China stocks fell more than 2 percent.

    “Despite short-lived positive mood changers like this week’s FOMC meeting, the medium-term thinking around higher US yields is holding local currency bulls at bay,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at Axi.

    Yield on the 10-year US Treasury note was around 1.70 percent, the highest level they have been since January last year, and was set to record eight straight weeks of gains.

    Emerging market central banks in Brazil and Turkey have aggressively raised interest rates to counter a rise in US yields to stem capital outflows.

    Back in Asia, Indonesia’s rupiah was down 0.4 percent and was set for a fifth week of losses, having lost 4 percent since Feb. 16.

    So far “in March, most Asian spot exchange rates that we track have depreciated past their 50- and 100-day moving averages,” DBS analysts said.

    Indonesia’s central bank has kept its key rates unchanged at a record low of 3.50 percent, but its head of monetary management told CNBC on Friday that it stands ready to against any currency volatility.