July 24, 2020 / 5:23 AM / 16 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian shares sink as China orders U.S. consulate to shut in tit-for-tat move

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Singapore stocks hit lowest since June 29
    * Malaysia stocks set for worst day in 5 weeks

    By Shashwat Awasthi
    July 24 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian stock markets sank but
currencies were mixed against a weakened U.S. dollar on Friday
as China made a tit-for-tat move by ordering the U.S. consulate
in Chengdu to shut, stoking fears over relations between the
world's two largest economies.
    Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia all
tumbled more than 1%, while Indonesia and trade-reliant
South Korea were each 0.9% lower after Beijing
retaliated after the United States ordered the Chinese consulate
in Houston to close.
    "While the inevitability of deteriorating U.S.-China
relations as a structural feature of our geo-political landscape
was never in doubt, the shifts appear to be hastened," Mizhuo
analysts said.
    Bangkok shares hit their lowest in 10 days and the baht
 eased, with the gloom heightened by data showing
Thailand's exports in June fell more than feared.
    Currencies across the region have been propped up this week
by broad weakness of the dollar, whose safe-haven appeal has
been undermined by the Sino-U.S. tensions and doubts over the
latest round of U.S. stimulus.
    Indonesia's rupiah strengthened for the fourth
straight day and moved closer to recouping all of the more than
2% loss it suffered last week.
    "We remain constructive on the rupiah, as the currency is
under-valued relative to our fair value estimate, and we see
foreign investor concerns over debt monetisation easing," ANZ
Research analysts wrote.
    "This should pave the way for a pick-up in bond inflows
given the yield attractiveness, which tend to lead to a
strengthening in the currency."
    A senior finance ministry official said the Indonesian
government may begin selling bonds directly to the central bank
next week under a fiscal deficit financing scheme.
    As the number of coronavirus cases continued to grow,
Indonesia's finance ministry on Friday revised its outlook for
2020 gross domestic product (GDP) to predict zero growth or a
slight contraction.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 4.4 basis
points at 6.865%
    ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Thai-German
Products PCL down 14.29%, Union Pioneer PCL
down 13.13% and G J Steel PCL down 9.09%
    ** Top losers on the Singapore STI include Keppel
Corporation down 3.36%, Venture Corporation
down 3.26% and DBS Group down 2.18%
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0407 GMT                                           
   COUNTRY      FX RIC     FX DAILY %   FX YTD %    INDEX    STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD %
    Japan                     +0.44       +2.10                  -0.58           -3.83
    China                     -0.20       -0.78                  -2.25           6.57
    India                     -0.15       -4.73                  -0.57           -8.36
  Indonesia                   +0.21       -4.41                  -0.81          -18.99
  Malaysia                    -0.14       -4.06                  -1.18           -0.08
 Philippines                  +0.12       +2.59                  -0.27          -23.06
   S.Korea                    -0.31       -3.71                  -0.64           0.20
  Singapore                   +0.01       -2.97                  -1.41          -20.09
   Taiwan                     +0.31       +2.24                  -0.72           2.72
  Thailand                    -0.09       -5.77                  -1.18          -14.95
 
 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and A K Pranav in Bengaluru;
editing by Patrick Graham and Simon Cameron-Moore)
  
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