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apple developer account:RPT-Rates markets turn up heat on Asiau0027s central banks

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(Repeats story published earlier on Wednesday to add additionalcodes, no changes to text.)

* Mismatch between cenbank rhetoric and market pricing forhikes

* Pressure could force rates up while recovery still fragile

* Indonesia, S. Korea among the most aggressively priced forrises

By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE, March 31 (Reuters) - As Brazil, Russia and Turkeylift interest rates to ward off inflation and currencypressures, investors are beginning to prod Asia's central banksto follow suit, setting up a potential showdown with countrieskeeping rates at record lows.

South Korea and Indonesia, where central bankers have cuthard and downplayed the prospect of imminent tightening, aremost firmly in the spotlight and interest rate swaps have racedto price in rate rises within a year.

Hikes in Thailand, Malaysia and India over the next 12months are also in investors' sights and the danger is that themood could force policymakers to choke off support sooner thanthey please, or risk capital flight and a currency selloff.

The moves also open a gap against benchmark U.S. short-termrates, which have barely moved and, now that Brazil, Russia andTurkey have made unexpectedly bold hikes, leave Asia's centralbanks lagging both their peers and the market.

While economists see a growing distinction between the riskprofiles of Asian emerging markets and other more vulnerableblocs, they warn Asia nonetheless remains exposed to suddenshocks to global sentiment.

"Asia central banks now need to be a bit more cautious,"said Sonal Varma, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan at Nomura inSingapore, with historically low rates in the region and"choppy" global capital flows.

"Some sort of additional compensation in terms of risk willneed to be given," she said, especially in countries such asIndonesia where foreigners hold more than a fifth of governmentdebt and the financial system is vulnerable to capital flight.

Bank Indonesia (BI) cut its benchmark rate by 25 basispoints to 3.5% only in February, and yet swaps are alreadypriced for about 50 basis points of hikes over the next 12months, according to analysts at DBS Bank in Singapore.

Binay Chandgothia, a portfolio manager at Principal GlobalInvestors, said while BI might need to hike rates if the rupiahweakens towards 15,500 per dollar, about 7% from currentlevels, the central bank probably has the room to hold a while.

"If they hike, they'll probably have to hike at least twiceto bring stability," he said, which could dampen domestic growthbefore local demand finds a footing.

"Exports have been driving Asia, and I think the markets arebeginning to think about the next leg - that's where domesticconsumption and forced rate hikes are creating some sort ofconcern," he said.

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