EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares lag on virus woes, Thai economy shrinks

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares lag on virus woes, Thai economy shrinks

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA

* Philippine stocks fall most

* Thai Q2 GDP weakest in 22 years

By Shriya Ramakrishnan

Aug 17 (Reuters) - Philippine shares trailed gains in Asia's emerging stock and currency markets on Monday as investors awaited a decision on the extension of strict quarantine measures reinstated to stem the country's rise in new coronavirus infections.

Currencies and equity markets across the region rose in morning trade, tracking gains in China after its central bank rolled over maturing medium-term loans to the financial system, injecting 700 billion yuan ($100 billion) into the market.

With the postponement of a scheduled review of the U.S.-China Phase-One trade deal also taking one big risk off the table for now, Taiwan shares outperformed some of their peers while promises of more government infrastructure spending helped Indian shares gain half a percent. Manila's benchmark stock index .PSI fell 1%, dragged by losses in the financial and consumer sectors, with investors concerned that the outbreak will continue to hurt the economy even if Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte eases restrictions.

The Philippines has been reporting record daily coronavirus infections since July despite the restrictions, with total cases across the archipelago soaring past 161,000 and the death tally at 2,665 as of Sunday. a recent surge in COVID-19 infections, comments from authorities suggest that lockdown measures will be relaxed in the coming week in a bid to jump start economic activity," said Nicholas Mapa, ING's senior economist for the Philippines.

"With cases accelerating, it may be difficult to expect economic activity to return to business as usual."

The peso PHP= , which has proven more robust than Manila's stock market in the face of the pandemic, inched higher against a broadly weaker U.S. dollar.

In Thailand, the baht THB=TH dipped and the benchmark stock index .SETI fell up to 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. than 10,000 Thai protesters chanting "down with dictatorship" and "the country belongs to the people" rallied in Bangkok on Sunday in by far the biggest anti-government demonstration since a 2014 coup. shares .TWII were among the top performers, with gains of over 1%. Singapore shares .STI rose as much as 0.6%, following better-than-expected non-oil domestic exports in July, before paring some gains to edge down 0.1%. city-state will also unveil plans to extend more financial support to companies and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, its finance ministry said. markets in South Korea and Indonesia were closed for holidays.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields TH10YT=RR are down 2 basis points at 1.31%

** Top gainers on the Singapore STI .STI include Thai Beverage PCL TBEV.SI up 5.79% at S$0.64, Comfortdelgro Corporation Ltd CMDG.SI up 3.6% at S$1.44

** In the Philippines, top index losers are Jollibee Foods Corp JFC.PS down 2.77% at 140.5 peso; Bloomberry Resorts Corp BLOOM.PS down 2.55% at 6.12 peso; SM Investments Corp SM.PS down 2.22% at 880 peso

Asia stock indexes and

currencies at 0347 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC

FX FX YTD INDEX STOCKS

STOCKS

DAILY %

%

DAILY

YTD %

%

Japan

JPY=

+0.08 +1.98 <.N225 -0.62

-2.16

>

China

+0.13 +0.32 <.SSEC

2.27

12.66

>

>

India

INR=IN

0.00 -4.70 <.NSEI

0.00

-8.14

>

Malaysia MYR=

+0.14 -2.29 <.KLSE

0.02

-1.50

>

Philippi PHP=

+0.08 +4.09 .PSI

-0.90

-22.94 nes

Singapor SGD=

+0.05 -1.85 .STI

0.10

-19.83 e

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.49 +2.41 <.TWII

1.06

7.79

>

Thailand THB=TH

-0.10 -3.98 <.SETI -0.23

-16.19

>

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