EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks subdued amid holiday lull; Taiwan shares fall 2%

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks subdued amid holiday lull; Taiwan shares fall 2%
Credit: © Reuters.

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

* Economists predict Indonesia Q1 GDP at -0.74%

* India's cases cross 20 million-mark

* Japan equities closed; China, Thailand financial markets shut

By Anushka Trivedi

May 4 (Reuters) - Asian stocks were largely tepid on Tuesday as a continuous surge in COVID-19 cases kept investors on the sidelines amid holiday-thinned trade, although shares in Taiwan dropped nearly 2%.

In a divergence from world's developed markets, which are faring better than their Asian peers on economic reopening cheer, equities in Singapore .STI , Indonesia .JKSE and Malaysia .KLSE were unchanged.

A raft of manufacturing data in emerging Asia this week pointed to a slower pace of economic recovery, with investors further worried by the slow vaccination rate amid an explosion in COVID-19 cases and a creaky healthcare system.

Holidays in major players China and Japan dampened activity generally, while a mixed close at Wall Street overnight added to some hesitation in making bets.

"The somewhat confusing price action overnight in New York has left the region (Asia) content to sit in wait-and-see mode, offsetting the bullishness of the Wall Street reopening gnomes," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior Asia Pacific market analyst at OANDA.

India's official tally of coronavirus infections surged past 20 million and its shares .NSEI see-sawed in positive and negative territory before trading up 0.2% by midday.

Electronics-focussed Taiwan's bourse .TWII saw its worst day in over eight months as it tracked a drop in U.S. tech stocks, compounded by fears over a recent uptick in domestic infections linked to China Airlines 2610.TW . dollar SGD= and the Malaysian ringgit MYR=MY eased around 0.4% against a buoyant greenback, while the South Korean KRW=KFTC won was little changed.

The Indonesian rupiah IDR= edged up slightly a day before first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data was due. Southeast Asia's largest economy is expected to have contracted at a much slower pace in the first quarter, a Reuters poll showed. upcoming events, Thailand's central bank was set to meet to decide its monetary policy when trade resumes on Wednesday amid an unprecedented rise in coronavirus cases in the country.

HIGHLIGHTS

** S. Korean shares .KS11 rebound after five-day losing streak

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields ID10YT=RR are up 0.3 basis points at 6.484%

** Top losers on the Singapore STI .STI include: Capitaland Ltd CATL.SI down 2.2% and Mapletree Commercial Trust MACT.SI down 1.4%

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0723 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY % FX YTD %

INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan

JPY=

-0.35

-5.67 .N225

0.00

4.99 India

INR=IN

+0.12

-1.03 .NSEI

0.19

4.86 Indonesia

IDR=

+0.14

-2.67 .JKSE

-0.01

-0.45 Malaysia

MYR=

-0.36

-2.38 .KLSE

0.16

-2.09 Philippines

PHP=

-0.06

-0.04 .PSI

-0.16

-10.93 S.Korea

+0.12

-3.24 .KS11

0.64

9.53

>

Singapore

SGD=

-0.36

-0.99 .STI

-0.03

11.96 Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.21

+2.02 .TWII

-1.68

14.94

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