Company News

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian FX, stocks retreat on virus fears; Singapore shares gain

    * Graphic: World FX rates
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks
    * Most of Asia's emerging stock markets set for weekly
    * Indonesian rupiah worst hit among Asia FX
    * Singapore Sept exports rise 5.9% y/y

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    Oct 16 (Reuters) - Asia's emerging currencies and stocks
fell on Friday as resurgent COVID-19 infections and stalled
progress towards U.S. stimulus dented confidence globally, while
Singapore shares drew some support from a rise in the
city-state's exports. 
    Sentiment has taken a hit this week after high-profile
COVID-19 vaccine trials were halted, while a political tussle in
Malaysia and anti-government protests in Thailand have also
steered investors away from riskier assets in the region.
    Shares in Bangkok dropped to their lowest level in
two weeks and were on course to record a weekly decline of more
than 2%, while the baht traded largely flat.
    Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Friday
he was not resigning after tens of thousands of anti-government
protesters defied a ban on demonstrations under emergency
measures that he said would last up to 30 days.
    Southeast Asia's second-largest economy has been hit by
three months of protests pushing for Prayuth's removal, a new
constitution and a reduction in the powers of the king. 
    "Markets will keenly monitor the situation in Thailand,
particularly gauging any impact of the emergency decree on
mobility and activity trends locally," said Nupur Gupta, a
portfolio manager at Eastspring Investments. 
    "If activity in retail outlets, restaurants, etc is
substantially affected due to the decree, markets may start
discounting even weaker fundamentals, in addition to the already
low expectations on tourism activity."
    Losses in South Korean shares outpaced those elsewhere in
Asia, with the benchmark KOSPI falling up to 1.5% during
the day even as domestic coronavirus infections dropped. 
    Indonesian shares fell 0.6%, a day after the country
overtook the Philippines as the Southeast Asian country with the
highest coronavirus cases.
    The rupiah and won were the worst hit
among Asian currencies, weakening 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively,
against a stronger greenback as the broader risk aversion had
nervous investors seeking safer assets. 
    Singapore shares, which initially rose as much as
0.9%, surrendered some of those gains to trade 0.3% higher. 
     Data released in early Asian trading hours showed
Singapore's non-oil domestic exports expanded for a fourth
consecutive month in September, rising 5.9% from a year earlier,
driven by a jump in shipments from its key electronics sector.

    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 0.5
basis points at 1.37%
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Puregold Price
Club Inc down 4.39% at 41.4 peso; Aboitiz Equity
Ventures Inc down 4.13% at 42.95 peso; JG Summit
Holdings Inc down 3.24% at 59.7 peso
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Wilmar
International Ltd up 2.98% at S$4.49, Venture
Corporation Ltd up 1.9% at S$20.9, Yangzijiang
Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd up ​ 1.58% at S$0.965
  Asia stock indexes and                                      
 currencies at   0638 GMT                               
                        DAILY  YTD %                 S   YTD %
                            %                    DAILY  
 Japan                  +0.16  +3.17             -0.41   -1.04
 China                  +0.05  +3.59             -0.01    9.24
 India                  +0.01  -2.71              0.31   -3.72
 Indonesi               -0.58  -5.87             -0.56  -19.42
 Malaysia               +0.00  -1.54             -0.19   -4.89
 Philippi               -0.05  +4.08             -0.67  -24.53
 S.Korea                -0.37  +0.78             -0.83    6.55
 Singapor               -0.08  -1.20              0.33  -21.44
 Taiwan                 +0.67  +4.65             -0.60    6.28
 Thailand               +0.06  -4.10             -0.56  -21.77

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Aditya Soni)