* Rupiah falls to 4-year low, continues to have rough week
* Philippine peso at 6-month low
* Asian equities trade mixed

By Roushni Nair
       April 17 (Reuters) - The Indonesian rupiah slid to a
four-year low on Wednesday as the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated
rates could remain elevated for longer than anticipated,
bolstering the greenback to the detriment of riskier Asian
    The rupiah fell 0.6% to 16,265 per dollar, a level
last seen on April 8, 2020.
    The Thai baht, however, lost the most ground,
tumbling more than 1% to its lowest point since Oct. 10. The
Philippine peso gave up 0.4% to hit its weakest level
since Sept. 26.
    Once a popular carry-trade currency, Indonesia's
high-yielding bond market has lost appeal due to currency
volatility and the wafer-thin spreads it offers over dollar
    The rupiah, which has lost over 5% so far this year, has had
a particularly rough time this week as markets reopened from a
week-long Eid al-Fitr holiday. On Tuesday, it slid 2.3%, its
biggest intra-day percentage fall since March 2020.
    The central bank, Bank Indonesia, has had to continuously
intervene in the forex market to restrict the rupiah's fall and
to ensure adequate supply and demand and market participants are
now pricing in the possibility that it will hike rates.
    "We now forecast the USD/IDR at 16,200 (15,850 previously)
in the next 3 months before strengthening modestly to 15,650 in
12 months on anticipation of US rate cuts and some stepping down
of Middle East tensions," Lloyd Chan, an FX strategist at MUFG, 
said in a note to clients. 
    Overnight, comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell signalled
monetary policy needs to be restrictive for longer, dismissing
any expectations of the Fed cutting rates in the near term.
    The U.S. dollar index - a measure of the greenback
against six major rivals - was last at 106.31, just below the
five-month peak of 106.51 touched on Tuesday. 
    In the Philippines, the peso weakened past the 57.000 level
against the dollar, after the central bank hinted it is not in a
hurry to ease monetary policy rates. It now expects its first
rate cut will likely happen in the fourth quarter of 2024 or the
first quarter of next year.
    In Thailand, the baht has been hurt by mounting economic
weakness, the country's high exposure to rising freight costs
and the potential for rate cuts.
    Bucking the trend, the South Korean won advanced
as much as 0.9% after the country's finance ministry said it was
ready to deploy measures to stabilise excessive volatility. 
    Equities in Southeast Asia were largely mixed with stocks in
Shanghai and Taipei adding over 1% each, while
those in Bangkok lost over 2%.  
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields rise 2.5 basis points
to 6.964%
    ** Singapore's March non-oil domestic exports fall 20.7% y/y
    ** Markets in India are closed for a public holiday

  Asia stock indexes and currencies at                         
 0501 GMT                                                 
 COUNTRY       FX RIC          FX     FX    INDEX  STOCK  STOCK
                            DAILY  YTD %               S  S YTD
                                %                  DAILY      %
 Japan                      +0.06  -8.77           -0.43  15.07
 China                      -0.02  -1.96            1.24   2.33
 India                          -  -0.39               -   1.92
 Indonesia                  -0.37  -5.14            0.07  -1.42
 Malaysia                   +0.00  -4.18           -0.08   5.44
 Philippines                -0.47  -3.24            0.96   0.26
 S.Korea                    +0.68  -7.01            0.07  -1.65
 Singapore                  +0.09  -3.28            0.49  -2.47
 Taiwan                     +0.01  -5.40            1.44  12.59
 Thailand                   -1.03  -7.25           -2.13  -3.48
 (Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina