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EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging stocks near 27-month highs, currencies gain

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Emerging stocks flirted with 27-month highs on Tuesday while currencies firmed a touch as the dollar traded at 10-month lows after the collapse of a key U.S. healthcare bill raised doubts about President Donald Trump's reform agenda.

MSCI's benchmark emerging stocks index held at levels not seen since end-April 2015, still underpinned by Monday's solid Chinese economic growth data, which beat consensus forecasts and showed firmer exports and production.

Chinese mainland shares rose 0.3 percent after falling 1.4 percent on Monday due to a sharp sell off in small caps, and Hong Kong gained 0.2 percent.

Russian dollar-denominated stocks also rose 0.4 percent, helped by higher oil prices.

But gains were offset by losses in other markets. Turkish stocks fell 0.5 percent and Indian shares slipped 0.6 percent from the record highs hit in the previous session. Higher taxes on cigarette makers clobbered index heavyweight ITC.

Emerging currencies made marginal gains after the dollar slipped 0.4 percent against a basket of currencies, hit by the failure of the revised U.S. healthcare reform bill .

"(It raises) doubts about President Trump's ability to reflate the economy," said Inan Demir, senior emerging economist at Nomura. Fading U.S. rate hike bets have also weighed on the dollar after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen indicated the Fed's rate hikes could be gradual.

"Emerging market currencies have already benefited from a strong risk appetite since Yellen's speech last week, which was followed up by the weak CPI data," Demir added.

"Even though the (healthcare bill) failure led to a broad-based dollar weakness, the incremental impact on EM currencies from this is limited given that they have already rallied."

Higher-yielding currencies in Asia were among the beneficiaries, with the Thai baht hitting a two-year high and the South Korean won gaining 0.3 percent to touch a one-month high. China's yuan also firmed for the seventh straight session.

Both the South African rand and Turkish lira held near two-week highs. On Monday Turkey extended emergency rule for another three months, almost a year after it was imposed in the wake of last July's failed military coup.

The Hungarian forint was steady against the euro ahead of a central bank meeting at which it is expected to keep rates on hold at record lows of 0.9 percent.

The International Bank of Azerbaijan, the country's biggest state-run bank, will announce full voting results from creditors on its proposed $3.3 billion debt restructuring after a claimants' meeting later in the day.

Meanwhile President Trump has threatened "strong and swift economic actions" if Venezuela goes ahead with plans to create a Constituent Assembly with powers to rewrite the constitution and annul the opposition-led legislature.

"With FX reserves below $10 billion for the first time since 2002 and the economy falling further into an abyss, it is only trade partners who can have a say now," Simon Quijano-Evans, an emerging markets strategist at Legal & General Investment Management, said in a note, pointing out that almost 40 percent of the country's exports go to the United States.

For GRAPHIC on emerging market FX performance 2017, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2e7eoml For GRAPHIC on MSCI emerging index performance 2017, see http://tmsnrt.rs/2dZbdP5

For CENTRAL EUROPE market report, see

For TURKISH market report, see

For RUSSIAN market report, see)

Emerging Markets Prices from Reuters

Equities Latest Net Chg % Chg % Chg

on year

Morgan Stanley

Emrg Mkt Indx 1052.36 +0.81 +0.08 +22.05 Czech Rep 1010.48 +5.12 +0.51 +9.64 Poland 2378.74 +6.57 +0.28 +22.12 Hungary 36122.54 -18.11 -0.05 +12.87 Romania 8181.85 +26.51 +0.33 +15.48 Greece 853.72 -4.36 -0.51 +32.64 Russia 1043.22 +3.88 +0.37 -9.47 South Africa 47248.55 -251.05 -0.53 +7.62 Turkey 05798.14 -418.86 -0.39 +35.40 China 3186.93 +10.47 +0.33 +2.68 India 31796.16 -278.62 -0.87 +19.42 Currencies Latest Prev Local Local close currency currency

% change % change

in 2017

Czech Rep 26.08 26.07 -0.03 +3.57

Poland 4.20 4.20 +0.01 +4.84

Hungary 306.60 306.52 -0.03 +0.72

Romania 4.56 4.56 -0.04 -0.59

Serbia 120.30 120.25 -0.04 +2.54

Russia 59.32 59.33 +0.00 +3.27

Kazakhstan 325.88 325.93 +0.02 +2.38

Ukraine 25.93 25.93 +0.00 +4.15

South Africa 12.92 12.93 +0.10 +6.27

Kenya 103.90 103.85 -0.05 -1.47

Israel 3.57 3.58 +0.18 +7.86

Turkey 3.53 3.53 -0.09 -0.11

China 6.76 6.77 +0.17 +2.75

India 64.34 64.33 -0.02 +5.60

Brazil 3.18 3.18 +0.00 +2.22

Mexico 17.57 17.58 +0.10 +17.92

Debt Index Strip Spd Chg %Rtn Index

Sov'gn Debt EMBIG 324 -1 .02 7 87.34 1

(Reporting by Claire Milhench; editing by Susan Thomas)