EMERGING MARKETS-Asian shares, FX muted as virus surge cuts risk taking

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Asian shares, FX muted as virus surge cuts risk taking
Credit: © Reuters.

* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

* Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

* Virus surge dampens risk sentiment across the region

* South Korea reports better than expected economic growth

* Investors eye Federal Reserve meeting later this week

By Harish Sridharan

April 27 (Reuters) - Asian stocks posted small moves and currencies were flat on Tuesday, as a surge in coronavirus cases in the region and the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting this week keep investors on edge.

"Regional COVID-19 spikes, foremost in India, signs in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, and accompanying curbs could be mitigating the influence of largely positive data prints," analysts at Maybank said, noting the mixed equities performance in Asia.

Indian equities .NSEI opened higher, with technology stocks leading the gains, as investors awaited a slew of quarterly results later in the day.

The coronavirus crisis in the South Asian country, however, remained grim even as the daily rise in coronavirus cases retreated from record levels on Tuesday, but stayed above the 300,000 mark for a sixth straight day. stocks .SETI edged 0.3% higher, while the baht THB=TH strengthened 0.2%, even as the government shuttered parks, gyms and cinemas in Bangkok, the epicentre of the latest wave of infections, as Thailand reported yet another daily record of 15 virus deaths. Korea's economic growth beat expectations in the first quarter, data showed on Tuesday, as global demand surged and the government maintained support for ailing small businesses. The won KRW=KFTC traded 0.1% firmer, while the country's shares .KS11 were down 0.3%. growth surging, talk of earlier Bank of Korea tightening will inevitably pick up, and this could provide some further support to the Korean won which appreciated today on the GDP data," Robert Carnell, regional head of research, Asia-Pacific from ING Economics wrote in a note.

Investors will likely stay away from making big bets ahead of the Fed's meeting later this week, where Chair Jerome Powell's is likely to shed light on whether improving economic conditions warrant a tapering of monetary easing.

Equities in Singapore .STI stood firm at 0.2% a day after the city-state reported higher-than-expected manufacturing output for March.

Malaysian shares .KLSE were an outlier with relatively larger losses, falling 0.8%, as stocks of palm oil producers and large glove makers slipped. The nation recorded 2,776 new COVID-19 cases with 13 deaths on April 26.

Highlights

** Top loser on the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index .KLSE was Hartalega Holdings Bhd HTHB.KL , down 3.40%

** General Engineering PCL GEL.BK was up 29.27% and the top gainer on Thailand's SETI .SETI

** The biggest gainers in the NSE index .NSEI were Hindalco Industries Ltd HALC.NS and Reliance Industries Ltd RELI.NS

Asia stock indexes and currencies at

0452 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX

FX

INDEX STOCKS STOCK

DAILY YTD %

DAILY S YTD

%

%

% Japan

JPY=

-0.16 -4.63 .N225

-0.3

5.9 China

CNY=CFXS

+0.01 +0.66 .SSEC

-0.54 -1.46 India

INR=IN

+0.15 -2.06 .NSEI

0.57 4.19 Indonesia

IDR=

-0.09 -3.13 .JKSE

-0.01 -0.25 Malaysia

MYR=

+0.02 -1.83 .KLSE

-0.83 -1.06 Philippines PHP=

-0.17 -0.83 .PSI

-0.30 -10.7

8 S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

+0.13 -2.30 .KS11

-0.30 11.63 Singapore

SGD=

-0.09 -0.41 .STI

0.15 12.87 Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.31 +2.19 .TWII

-0.06 19.20 Thailand

THB=TH

+0.22 -4.40 .SETI

0.29 7.91

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