* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
* Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
* Chinese, Indian shares gain the most
* Thai stocks hit two-week low
* Indonesia, South Korea shut for holiday
By Shriya Ramakrishnan
Aug 17 (Reuters) - Philippine shares reversed early losses on Monday, but investors remained cautious ahead of a decision on whether to ease quarantine restrictions and over concerns that a substantial pick up in economic activity will take time.
Manila's benchmark stock index .PSI closed 0.1% lower after falling as much as 1.1% earlier in the day, as investors picked up beaten down blue-chip real estate stocks while the peso PHP= gained 0.2% against a broadly weaker U.S. dollar.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce on Monday his decision whether to extend or ease strict quarantine measures that were reinstated in and around the capital Manila in mid-August to stem the rise in new coronavirus cases.
"Investors are still wary of the efficiency of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jennifer Lomboy, a fund manager at First Metro Asset Management.
"Daily cases are still elevated but economic activities need to resume soon as strict lockdowns have heavily impacted household income and businesses' profitability."
In Thailand, the baht THB=TH weakened 0.2% and shares .SETI fell more than half a percent, as a double whammy of political protests and data showing the economy shrank by 12.2% in the second quarter added to the government's headaches. shares .SSEC stood out with gains of over 2%, as the country's central bank provided more medium-term loans to the financial system and as shares of securities brokers rose in anticipation of reforms and consolidation. shares .NSEI were also among the top performers, as markets cheered Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assurance on mass production of COVID-19 vaccines and more infrastructure spending.
Investors will also focus on central bank meetings this week in Indonesia and the Philippines.
A majority of economists polled by Reuters expect Bank Indonesia to keep its main policy rate unchanged when it concludes its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, after cutting it four times so far this year. also expect the Philippine central bank to keep rates steady especially after Governor Benjamin Diokno signalled key rates could remain unchanged for the rest of the year. markets in South Korea and Indonesia were closed for holidays.
** In the Philippines, top index gainers are Alliance Global Group Inc AGI.PS up 6.47% at 6.25 peso, GT Capital Holdings Inc GTCAP.PS up 5.74% at 424 peso, JG Summit Holdings Inc JGS.PS up 4.4% at 64 peso
** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 3 basis points at 1.3%
Asia stock indexes and
currencies at 0749 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC
FX FX YTD
DAILY % YTD % Japan
+0.10 +2.00 .N225
-0.83 -2.37 China
2.34 12.74 > India INR=IN +0.01 -4.69
0.34 -7.82 Malaysia
-0.49 -2.00 Philippi
-0.13 -22.35 nes Singapor
-0.22 -20.08 e Taiwan TWD=TP +0.47 +2.39
1.26 7.99 Thailand THB=TH -0.16 -4.04
-0.62 -16.52 ($1 = 48.5900 Philippine pesos)
+0.11 +0.30 .SSEC
+0.01 -4.69 .NSEI
0.34 -7.82 Malaysia MYR=
+0.02 -2.41 .KLSE
-0.49 -2.00 Philippi PHP=
+0.17 +4.18 .PSI
-0.13 -22.35 nes
+0.05 -1.85 .STI
-0.22 -20.08 e
+0.47 +2.39 .TWII
7.99 Thailand THB=TH
-0.16 -4.04 .SETI
($1 = 48.5900 Philippine pesos)
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