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EMERGING MARKETS-Indian shares, rupee struggle amid record virus spike; other markets recover

Published 22-04-2021, 01:27 pm
© Reuters.
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* Philippines c.bank sees 2021 economic growth of 6%-7%

* India reports biggest ever rise in new coronavirus infections

* Thai 10-yr bond yields down 4 bps to lowest since March 11

By Harish Sridharan

April 22 (Reuters) - Indian stocks oscillated on Thursday, struggling to track gains notched across broader Asia, as the nation posted the biggest ever daily rise in new coronavirus infections anywhere in the world since the pandemic began.

Sentiment across Asia recovered and equities rebounded, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific equities ex-Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rising 0.5%. Philippines .PSI was the exception, where expected economic impacts of a recent lockdown weighed.

Indian stocks .NSEI were flat after earlier trading lower, while the rupee INR=IN was off 0.1% against the dollar, as the country's health infrastructure struggles to cope with an unrelenting surge in cases amid sluggish vaccine rollouts. we see the domestic scenario in India improving, global factors will have less of an impact. Its purely because of the domestic factors that we are falling," said Gaurang Somaiya, FX analyst at Motilal Oswal (NS:MOFS) Financial Services.

A Reuters poll found that investors have turned bullish on most Asian currencies except the rupee, where short bets were at their highest in a year despite broad dollar weakness. unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in India can linger for a while. Investors with lower tolerance for volatility should consider tactically downgrading this bourse to neutral in an EM equity basket for a couple of months," analysts at BCA Research warned.

Equities in Singapore .STI gained as much as 1% and eyed its best session in over two weeks, while Kuala Lumpur .KLSE was on course for its best day in nearly two weeks.

The U.S. dollar held near multi-week lows, aiding regional currencies firm across the board. The Thai baht THB=TH and the Malaysian ringgit MYR= led gains as they strengthened 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

Stocks in Manila .PSI weakened 0.4%, bucking the trend, while the peso PHP= underperformed its peers to trade marginally lower.

Philippines' central bank governor said on Wednesday two-week lockdown of the capital Manila earlier this month will likely slow full-year economic growth to 6%-7%, compared with its earlier forecast of 6.5%-7.5%. benchmark 10-year bond yields TH10YT=RR slipped 4 basis points to 1.68%, their lowest since March 11. The tourism-reliant nation is grappling with a third COVID-19 wave and a highly contagious variant, amid a shortage of vaccines.

The Thai economy could lose 100 billion baht ($3.19 billion) a month, mainly in the service sector, a university forecast on Thursday. Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 4 basis points at 1.68%

** In the Philippines, top index loser are Aboitiz Power Corp AP.PS , down 4.9

** The biggest laggards in the NSE index .NSEI in India were Shree Cement Ltd SHCM.NS and Titan Company Ltd TITN.NS

Asia stock indexes and

currencies at 0655 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC

FX

FX

INDEX STOCKS STOCK

DAILY YTD %

DAILY S YTD

%

%

% Japan

JPY=

+0.10 -4.35 .N225 #VALUE #VALU

!

E! China

.SSEC

-0.39 -0.40

S>

India

INR=IN

-0.10 -2.52 .NSEI

0.08 2.33 Indones IDR=

-0.02 -3.36 .JKSE

0.01 0.25 ia

Malaysi MYR=

+0.27 -2.14 .KLSE

0.57 -1.32 a

Philipp PHP=

-0.02 -0.79 .PSI

-0.37 -10.1 ines

4 S.Korea .KS11

0.18 10.58

C>

Singapo SGD=

+0.14 -0.45 .STI

0.92 11.96 re

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.13 +1.31 .TWII

-0.61 16.05 Thailan THB=TH

+0.16 -4.28 .SETI

-0.09 8.91 d

(Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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