EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysia stocks hit by extended COVID-19 curbs, Taiwan dollar jumps

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysia stocks hit by extended COVID-19 curbs, Taiwan dollar jumps
Credit: © Reuters.

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

* Philippines, S, Korea, Indonesia shares drop 1%

* Indonesia rupiah eases ahead of c.bank meet on Thursday

* China markets closed for holiday

By Anushka Trivedi

Feb 17 (Reuters) - Malaysian shares fell on Wednesday as COVID-19 curbs were extended in some parts of the country, while Taiwan markets defied the broader gloom with the local dollar and stocks rising on the resumption of trade after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Malaysia's stock index .KLSE dropped 0.6%, its worst day in more than a week, as restrictions https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/malaysia-extends-mco-selangor-kl-johor-penang-feb-19-mar-4-14206236 in three states and the Kuala Lumpur territory were extended to March 4, despite a vaccination drive announced on Tuesday. at CGS-CIMB Securities forecast "hiccups" in implementing the vaccine programme that aims to cover at least 80% of its 32 million people within a year, hurting stocks that should potentially benefit from the economic recovery.

"Among the concerns are that the number of vaccine doses may not be sufficient to meet the tight deadline," they said.

Most Asian markets were hobbled by a firm dollar .DXY , which benefited from benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasury yields US10YT=RR rising to their highest in a year on expectations of a stimulus-led economic recovery and lift-off in inflation.

Recent stock market gains in the Philippines .PSI , South Korea .KS11 and Indonesia .JKSE fell more than 1% while their respective currencies PHP= , KRW=KFTC , IDR= eased.

"Investors are probably trying to strike a balance between reflation hopes and seemingly overstretched valuations, allowing recent rallies to take a brief pause," Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX said.

The rupiah IDR= declined 0.6% on added pressure from investors' unwinding their positions ahead of Bank Indonesia's (BI) meeting on Thursday where an interest rate cut is widely expected. multi-day rally in South Korea's stocks and won also lost steam as COVID-19 cases there hit a 39-day high. KRW/

Taiwan's dollar TWD=TP , however, climbed 1.5%, while stocks surged 3.8% after a week-long holiday.

China's financial markets were closed for a holiday, but the offshore yuan CNH=D3 declined 0.2% after U.S. President Joe Biden vowed repercussions for Beijing over human rights abuses, threatening a flare up in tensions between the two nations. Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up almost 5.6 basis points at 6.34%​​

** Top losers on Thailand's SETI .SETI include Muramoto Electron Thailand PCL METCO.BK down 7.9% and Group Lease PCL GL.BK down 7.5%

** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index .KLSE include Axiata Group Bhd AXIA.KL and PETRONAS Chemicals Group Bhd PCGB.KL , down about 3% each

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0443 GMT





% Japan



-2.50 .N225


10.40 India



+0.25 .NSEI


8.97 Indonesia



+0.57 .JKSE


4.10 Malaysia



-0.32 .KLSE


-1.79 Philippines



-0.73 .PSI


-3.07 S.Korea



-1.97 .KS11


8.90 Singapore



-0.53 .STI


2.74 Taiwan



+1.80 .TWII


11.11 Thailand



-0.03 .SETI



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