* Indonesia rupiah touches near 1-month high
* Malaysia stocks hit highest since August 2022
* U.S. CPI due later on Tuesday
* Indonesia elections due on Wednesday

By Himanshi Akhand
       Feb 13 (Reuters) - The Indonesian rupiah touched a near
one-month high on Tuesday ahead of the country's presidential
elections, while most Asian equities rose as investors awaited a
U.S. inflation report that could give more clues on the Federal
Reserve's rate cut timing.
    The rupiah inched 0.1% higher to reach its highest
level since Jan. 16, while stocks fell 0.9%. 
    Indonesia is set to hold simultaneous presidential and
legislative elections on Wednesday. 
    "The focus is on how much Prabowo, who has the largest
support of voters according to the polls, can have the lead in
order to prevent a runoff," analysts at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking
Corporation (SMBC) wrote.
    Surveys have consistently shown Defence Minister Prabowo
Subianto leading the presidential race, although his overall
victory is far from certain because of Indonesia's election
    "If he fails to win more than 50% of the total votes, a
runoff election will take place in June. This means that
political uncertainties will remain longer, which will weigh on
IDR," SMBC analysts added.
    The stability of the rupiah has been a key concern for Bank
Indonesia, with the central bank saying the room to cut rates is
dependent on the currency.
    The Thai baht rose 0.3% while the Singapore dollar
 inched 0.1% lower.
    The market focus is on January's U.S. inflation report due
later in the day, which will likely provide further clarity on
how soon, and by how much, the Fed could cut rates this year.

    SMBC analysts, however, suggested the U.S. inflation data
will likely have a limited impact on markets because it is
unlikely to change traders' views on the Fed's first rate cut,
which is now expected to occur in May or June. 
    Most Asian equities rose on Tuesday, with those in Malaysia
 jumping as much as 1% to their highest level since
August 2022.
    Stocks in Thailand and South Korea advanced
0.6% and 1%, respectively.
    Philippine stocks rose 0.3%. The Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas (BSP) is set to meet on Thursday to review its
monetary policy. 
    Annual inflation in the Philippines accelerated at its
slowest pace in more than three years in January, in line with
the regional trend of slowing inflation, making a case for
central banks to consider start interest rate cuts sooner.
    Markets in China were still closed for the Lunar New Year
holidays and are due to resume trade on Monday, Feb. 19. 
    Investors are waiting to see what Chinese authorities could
do next to shore up the country's battered stock market after
appointing a new markets regulator just before the break.
    ** Pakistan's two largest political parties wrangle over who
will be prime minister after an inconclusive election last week
forced them to join forces
    ** India retail inflation eases to 3-month low but no rate
cuts expected yet 
    ** Thai Jan consumer confidence at 47-month high on support
measures, tourism
  Asia stock indexes and currencies                       
 at 0445 GMT                                        
                      DAILY %  YTD %     X   DAILY   YTD %
 Japan                  -0.13  -5.67  <.N2   2.48   12.99
 China                               EC>           
 India                  -0.01  +0.24  <.NS    0.29   -0.24
 Indonesi               +0.06  -1.19  <.JK   -0.94   -0.60
 a                                    SE>           
 Malaysia               -0.08  -3.65  <.KL    0.99    4.99
 Philippi               -0.04  -1.13  <.PS    0.30    5.87
 nes                                  I>            
 S.Korea                             11>           
 Singapor               -0.11  -2.00  <.ST   -0.62   -3.75
 e                                    I>            
 Taiwan                     -  -1.99  <.TW       -    0.92
 Thailand               +0.29  -4.49  <.SE    0.45   -1.43
 (Reporting by Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru; Editing by Jamie