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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian FX struggle for direction as traders eye US debt ceiling talks

* Philippines peso dips, Malaysian ringgit unchanged * Singapore April CPI expected to rise to 5.8% Y/Y - analyst * Thailand unemployment rate hit a three-year low in Q1 By Jaskiran Singh May 22 (Reuters) - Asian currencies held steady on Monday, with the U.S. dollar slipping, hit by the double whammy of stalled debt ceiling talks and the Fed chief's unexpected dovish comments over future interest rate hikes. The Philippines peso and Thai baht each depreciated 0.2%, while the Malaysian ringgit and Singapore dollar remained unchanged. On the other hand, the South Korean won gained for a fourth straight session, appreciating 0.7%, while the Indonesian rupiah rose 0.2% after falling about 0.4% in the previous session. Additionally, the yuan gave up early gains and was trading 0.1% lower as China kept its benchmark lending rates unchanged for the ninth month in May, matching market expectations. Goldman Sachs analysts revised their yuan forecasts down, saying a lack of confidence in China's economy was the biggest risk to the country's recovery outlook for the second half. "We expect pressure (on yuan) to intensify as external demand slows. Taken together with weaker activity data in April, the authorities may want to maintain a slightly weaker short-term CNY bias to help provide some stimulus, said analysts at TD Securities. U.S. President Joe Biden and House Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy are expected to meet later in the day to discuss the debt ceiling - the limit on the amount of money the U.S. government can borrow to fund its services. A failure to lift the debt ceiling would trigger a default, likely sparking chaos in markets and a spike in interest rates. "Given the debt ceiling focus, it will be a tough week across the board. As a result, emerging currencies will be sensitive to any volatility this week," said Josh Gilbert, a market analyst with e-Toro. In Asia, Singapore is expected to release its Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation and industrial production figures for April and final first-quarter GDP growth figures later in the week. "CPI is expected to rise to 5.8% year-over-year, up from 5.5% in March. With a tight labour market, rising housing prices, and an increase in migration, demand remains firm, which is putting pressure on inflation to the upside in Singapore," said Gilbert. In Thailand, the unemployment rate hit a three-year low in the first quarter, as recovery in the crucial tourism industry strengthened. Asian equities, on the other hand, edged higher, with stocks in Indonesia rising 0.4%, while shares in Thailand , India and China gaining between 0.2% and 0.5%. HIGHLIGHTS: ** China fails Micron's products in security review, bars some purchases ** Vietnam economy to face continued unfavourable external conditions - deputy PM ** Modi, Blinken meet Pacific Island leaders in Papua New Guinea Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0637 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCK STOCK DAILY YTD % X S S YTD % DAILY % % Japan +0.05 -4.91 <.N2 0.90 19.13 25> China EC> India -0.16 -0.08 <.NS 0.53 1.08 EI> Indones +0.24 +4.57 <.JK 0.40 -1.80 ia SE> Malaysi -0.09 -3.08 <.KL -0.64 -5.09 a SE> Philipp -0.20 -0.14 <.PS -0.86 0.62 ines I> S.Korea 11> Singapo +0.00 -0.35 <.ST 0.00 -1.50 re I> Taiwan +0.04 +0.12 <.TW 0.04 14.45 II> Thailan -0.23 +0.36 <.SE 0.15 -9.08 d TI> (Reporting by Jaskiran Singh in Bengaluru;)