* Singapore stocks lose as much as 1.1%
* Indonesia equities down for 5th consecutive session
* Indonesia, Thailand CPI due on Friday

By Ayushman Ojha
       Feb 27 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies weakened on
Tuesday while stocks also extended losses ahead of key U.S. and
regional economic data this week which could provide clues about
interest rate outlooks from the Fed and other central banks.
    Singapore shares fell as much as 1.1% to their lowest
since Feb. 14, while Taiwan stocks lost as much as 1%.
    Indonesian stocks lost up to 0.4%, on track for
their fifth consecutive session of losses, and Philippine shares
 retreated 0.6%.
    Regional currencies failed to register substantial movement
as the dollar stood largely flat ahead of key U.S. economic data
that could provide more information on the Federal Reserve's
rate-cut timings.
    The Indonesian rupiah and the Philippine peso
inched 0.1% and 0.2% lower, respectively.
    The U.S. core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price
index - the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation -
is due on Thursday, where expectations are for a 0.4% increase
on a monthly basis.
    Markets have already ruled out a cut at the Fed's March
meeting and have recently pushed back hopes for a cut from May
to June.
    In Asia, inflation data from Indonesia and Thailand are due
on Friday. 
    Data last week showed that inflation accelerated less than
expected in January in Malaysia and Singapore.
    The easing inflation trend has given central banks some
leeway but investor focus remains on the timing of further rate
cuts. The central banks of Indonesia and South Korea left their
policy rates unchanged last week.
    "While inflation is coming off, in most of the region's
economies it has either just reached the target range or is
still closing the gap to target range," analysts at Morgan
Stanley wrote.
    Asian currencies have remained on the weaker side against
the U.S. dollar, and "the potential for further depreciation
could still impart some further upside to inflation and may mean
inflation does not durably stay within target, holding back rate
cuts," the analysts added.
    Meanwhile, the focus remains on the Malaysian ringgit
, which is trading near lows last seen in January 1998 and
which has lost nearly 4% of its value so far this year.
    The Malaysian central bank has said that the ringgit is
undervalued and should be trading higher on account of positive
economic fundamentals and prospects.
    Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour
also said the central bank had stepped up engagements with
government-linked companies, corporations and investors to
encourage continuous flows into the foreign exchange market.    

    ** Japan's inflation beats forecasts, end of negative rates
in sight
    ** India's fourth-quarter GDP data due on Thursday
    ** China's February purchasing manager's index (PMI) numbers
to be released on Friday

  Asia stock indexes and                            
 currencies at 0450 GMT                        
                     DAILY   YTD     X      S  S YTD
                         %     %        DAILY      %
 Japan               +0.17  -6.2  <.N2  -0.13  17.09
                               4  25>          
 China                       9  EC>          
 India               +0.01  +0.3  <.NS   0.11   1.91
                               9  EI>          
 Indones             -0.13  -1.6  <.JK  -0.12   0.03
 ia                            0  SE>          
 Malaysi             -0.04  -3.9  <.KL   0.41   6.82
 a                             1  SE>          
 Philipp             -0.21  -1.2  <.PS  -0.61   6.20
 ines                          2  I>           
 S.Korea                     0  11>          
 Singapo             +0.02  -1.8  <.ST  -0.93  -3.04
 re                            4  I>           
 Taiwan              -0.17  -2.7  <.TW  -0.40   5.25
                               5  II>          
 Thailan             +0.04  -4.7  <.SE  -0.35  -1.59
 d                             9  TI>          
 (Reporting by Ayushman Ojha in Bengaluru; editing by Miral