June 26, 2020 / 5:03 AM / 7 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies held back by virus case surge, rupiah falls

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Indonesian rupiah weakens as local infections rise 
    * S. Korean markets outperform 

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    June 26 (Reuters) - Asian currencies struggled for direction
in choppy trade on Friday with Indonesia's rupiah
trailing the rest of the region with a half percent fall after
the country reported another surge in coronavirus infections. 
    A generally improved mood pushed several of the region's
stock markets higher, with South Korean shares and the
won outperforming, boosted by a 3% jump for Samsung
Electronics and improved consumer sentiment data. 
    Worries about the growing number of coronavirus infections
have kept investors on edge this week, denting hopes for a swift
global economic recovery and pushing stock markets across the
region lower. 
    However, the stimulus pumped into the financial system by
the world's major central banks has kept cash flowing towards
stocks and emerging markets. 
    "The previous surge in demand for USD (back in March) is now
fading, and there is plenty of liquidity support globally," said
Christopher Wong, a senior FX strategist at Maybank Singapore.
"The sticking point is, though, will job losses come back, and
how a second wave of infections pan out." 
    Bank of Korea said it will extend its temporary offer of an
unlimited of amount of money through repo operations for another
month, adding it would actively provide liquidity should
volatility rise in financial markets.
    The South Korean market has also benefited this week from an
easing in tensions with North Korea, after the latter decided to
suspend its military action plan.
    Stock markets in Singapore and Thailand
reversed course after steep losses in the previous session to
rise around 1%, helped by gains in the financial and energy
sector, respectively. 
    Philippine stocks fell and the peso gained
0.2%, a day after the country's central bank surprisingly cut
interest rates for a fourth time this year.
    Jennifer Lomboy, a portfolio manager at First Metro Asset
Management, said that weakness in the peso was relatively capped
overnight by an ample supply of dollars. 
    ING analysts expect Philippine central bank Governor
Benjamin Diokno to refrain from further policy rate cuts and
instead turn to reducing reserve requirements should it need to
ease policy further.
    Financial markets in China and Taiwan were closed for
holidays. 
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
** Indonesia's 3-year benchmark yield is up 2.7 basis points at
6.284%​​ while the  Philippine 10-year benchmark yield is
unchanged at 3.336%
** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include Internet
Thailand PCL up 10.74% at 2.68 baht, Royal Orchid
Hotel Thailand PCL up ​ 10.57% at 34 baht
** Top gainers in Singapore are Mapletree Commercial Trust
 up 2.59% at S$1.98, Capitaland Mall Trust up
2.53% at S$2.03, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd
 up ​ 1.79% at S$9.1
** In the Philippines, top losers are Bloomberry Resorts Corp
 down -2.63% at 7.4 peso; DMCI Holdings Inc
down -2.39% at 4.09 peso; San Miguel Corp down -2.01%
at 97.5 peso
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                  
 currencies at   0413 GMT                            
 COUNTRY   FX      FX DAILY   FX YTD  INDEX  STOCKS  STOCK
           RIC            %        %          DAILY  S YTD
                                                  %      %
 Japan     <JPY=      +0.05    +1.37  <.N22   1.21   -4.77
           >                          5>             
 India     <INR=       0.00    -5.66  <.NSE    0.76  -14.8
           IN>                        I>                 1
 Indonesi  <IDR=      -0.53    -2.08  <.JKS    0.11  -22.1
 a         >                          E>                 9
 Malaysia  <MYR=      +0.02    -4.35  <.KLS   -0.05  -6.32
           >                          E>             
 Philippi  <PHP=      +0.16    +1.50  <.PSI   -0.31  -21.9
 nes       >                          >                  6
 S.Korea   <KRW=      +0.52    -3.51  <.KS1    1.27  -2.66
           KFTC>                      1>             
 Singapor  <SGD=      +0.03    -3.33  <.STI    0.90  -18.9
 e         >                          >                  0
 Thailand  <THB=      +0.13    -3.14  <.SET    1.08  -15.1
           TH>                        I>                 7
 
    

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
Coghill)
  
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