* South Korean won the top laggard
* Dollar bolstered on rate cut jitters
* Taiwan dollar extends losses for third straight day

By Archishma Iyer
       Jan 16 (Reuters) - Most Asian currencies and stocks fell on Tuesday in
broad-based selling with the South Korean won and Thai baht leading the
laggards, while the dollar gained as traders assessed the outlook for rate cuts
by the U.S. Federal Reserve. 
    The MSCI emerging markets currency index fell about 0.3% to
hover near a one-month low. 
    The South Korean won suffered the biggest decline, dropping as
much as 0.8%, bringing its losses to more than 3% since the start of 2024. 
    An unexpected drop in U.S. producer prices in December reinforced the view
that Fed rate cuts could come as soon as March.
    Markets are now pricing in a 70% chance of a 25 basis points cut in March,
versus 63% a week earlier, the CME FedWatch Tool showed. Traders are back
projecting cuts of 160 bps this year, up from expectations of 140 bps last week,
though many analysts think that is too aggressive.
    European Central Bank officials on Monday pushed back on expectations on
slashing interest rates, with Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel saying it was
too early to discuss cuts. {MKTS/GLOB] 
    At 0355 GMT, the dollar index was at 102.88. 
    "We continue to stay wary of the risk that DXY may inch up higher amid risks
of some fine tuning in the aggressive Fed rate cut bets," analysts at Maybank
    Market participants now await Fed Governor Christopher Waller's speech later
on Tuesday. He made a shift from his traditionally hawkish stance in November.  
    Investors were also cautious on the uptick in Brent crude prices after
geopolitical tensions in the Middle East escalated leading to a spike in
shipping rates between Asia and Europe, which could potentially add to existing
inflation woes.  
    Among other Asian currencies, the Thailand baht, Philippines peso
, Malaysian ringgit and the Singapore dollar slipped between
0.2% and 0.5%.  
   The Taiwan dollar extended its losses for the third consecutive
session, falling about 0.6%.  
    The country's Democratic Progressive Party's candidate Lai Ching-te won the
presidency on Saturday for the party's third consecutive term, even as the party
lost its parliamentary majority.
    Analysts at both DBS and Saxo Markets, however, expect stability to return
for North Asian currencies like the South Korean won and the Taiwan currency, as
geopolitical risks remain contained, while an upturn in the semiconductor cycle
is extended further. 
    Among Asian equities, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok fell
between 0.4% and 0.6%, while Jakarta shares traded 0.3% higher. 

    ** Indonesia's benchmark 10-year bond yield rises to 6.672% 
    ** Malaysia exempts imposition of capital gains tax, taxes on
foreign-sourced income on unit trusts
    ** Blackstone to expand private equity headcount in Singapore in Southeast
Asia push
 Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0355 GMT
                          DAILY %        %             DAILY   YTD %
 Japan                      -0.24    -3.44             -0.48    7.34
 China                      -0.17    -1.21             -0.62   -3.58
 India                      -0.10    +0.30             -0.08    1.61
 Indonesia                  -0.28    -1.28              0.39   -0.29
 Malaysia                   -0.30    -1.94             -0.12    3.07
 Philippines                -0.21    -0.93             -0.40    3.15
 S.Korea                    -0.64    -3.06             -0.54   -5.38
 Singapore                  -0.29    -1.33             -0.31   -1.57
 Taiwan                     -0.59    -2.12             -0.66   -2.79
 Thailand                   -0.46    -2.66             -0.38   -1.00

 (Reporting by Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Jamie Freed)