* Taiwan shares hit all-time high
* Malaysian stocks touch over 3-year high
* S.Korea central bank keeps rates unchanged

By John Biju
       May 23 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian stock markets rose on
Thursday, with Taiwan hitting a record high, while most
currencies in the region retreated as the U.S. dollar held firm
after hawkish Federal Reserve minutes pushed back bets of rate
cuts this year.
    Malaysia's ringgit retreated 0.4%, the Philippine
peso fell 0.3% and Thailand's baht slipped 0.2%.
    Market participants were also cautious as China's military
started two days of "punishment" drills held in five areas
around Taiwan just days after new Taiwan President Lai Ching-te
took office. 
    Equities in China declined as much as 1.2%. Taiwan
stocks rose up to 0.5%, after AI chip leader Nvidia
 forecast quarterly revenue above estimates on
    MSCI's index of Asia pacific IT stocks excluding Japan
 rose over 1% to hit a more than two-year high.
    Stocks in Malaysia rose as much as 0.7% to touch a
more than three-year high, while those in the Philippines
climbed 0.3%.
    Fed officials at their April 30-May 1 session indicated they
still had faith that price pressures would ease, if only slowly,
but the meeting minutes also reflected discussion of possible
    "Outlook for Asian currencies is muted given that the Fed is
set to keep rates higher for longer, but it's less challenging
now," said Wei Liang Chang, a macro strategist (FX and credit)
at DBS Bank.
    "We are settling back into more rangebound environment for
Asian currencies."
    In Asia, the Bank of Korea (BoK) held interest rates at a
15-year high and reiterated risks around inflationary pressures
in the wake of stronger-than-expected economic growth.
    "Given the increasing upside risks to inflation, the BoK's
stance will remain hawkish for some time. We maintain our view
that the first rate cut is likely to come in October," analysts
at ING wrote.
    Equities in South Korea advanced 0.3%, while the won
 was largely unchanged.
    Bank Indonesia kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday
and reiterated that the current benchmark level is likely enough
to keep inflation in check and the rupiah currency stable.    
    ** Japan's factory activity expands for first time in a
year, PMI shows
    ** Prices of China's special treasuries on exchange drop
after debut surge
    ** India central bank's record dividend to government may
reduce fiscal gap
                     DAILY  YTD %     X      S  S YTD
                         %               DAILY      %
 Japan               +0.03  -9.99  <.N2  1.21   16.80
 China                           EC>          
 India                   -  -0.09  <.NS   0.31   4.31
 Indones                 -  -3.72  <.JK      -  -0.69
 ia                                SE>          
 Malaysi             -0.42  -2.55  <.KL   0.37  11.93
 a                                 SE>          
 Philipp             -0.33  -4.85  <.PS   0.33   2.77
 ines                              I>           
 S.Korea                         11>          
 Singapo             +0.10  -2.25  <.ST   0.26   2.36
 re                                I>           
 Taiwan              +0.12  -4.65  <.TW   0.26  20.51
 Thailan             -0.18  -6.38  <.SE   0.13  -3.05
 d                                 TI>          

 (Reporting by John Biju in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu