July 21, 2020 / 7:49 AM / 15 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares lag as vaccine view lifts Asia

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Jakarta stocks hit six-week high
    * Singapore shares, Thai baht set to snap 3-day losing run

    By Shashwat Awasthi
    July 21 (Reuters) - The Philippines trailed gains for Asia's emerging stock and currency
markets on Tuesday, as a surge in local coronavirus cases gnawed at investor sentiment while
others cheered promising data for potential COVID-19 vaccines.
    Thai and Indonesian stocks rebounded more than 1% each after Monday's drop,
as early prints from vaccine trials and a "historic" European Union stimulus deal offset the
impact of political uncertainty in Bangkok and rising infections.
    Manila's benchmark share index, down by a fifth this year, fell another 0.9% after
the country reported more than a thousand new coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day.
 The peso dipped 0.2%.
    "The market is still weak despite the government's announcement today that it is not keen on
imposing stricter quarantine measures in the capital and upbeat sentiment from vaccine prospects
and stimulus across Asia," said Jennifer Mae V. Lomboy, a fixed income fund manager at First
Metro Asset Management.
    Investors were likely to remain on the sidelines ahead of next Monday's State of the Nation
address by President Rodrigo Duterte, she said.
    With the improvement in global sentiment leading investors away from the U.S. dollar,
Taiwan's dollar and South Korea's won outshone peers, while their respective
share markets climbed 1.8% and 1.4%.
    Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at trading platform OANDA, said currencies like Singapore's
dollar, the Thai baht, Indonesia's rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit
could outperform the greenback over a period of time if bullish sentiment holds out.
    "Positive news on the COVID-19 vaccine front and eurozone pandemic recovery fund progress
awoke currency markets from their recent slumber," he said.
    Stocks in Singapore rose half a percent after three straight sessions of losses.
    In Thailand, Labour Minister Chatumongol Sonakul on Monday became the sixth minister to quit
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's government since last week.
    Maybank analysts warned the political re-shuffle and ongoing protests against the government
and the army may continue to drag on the baht, and suggested a recovery may be constrained for
now.
    The currency, however, snapped a three-day losing streak to rise 0.4%.
    The upheaval comes at a time when Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy is struggling to
get its huge tourism sector going again, prompting business leaders and investors to urge the
government to pick a new economic team as soon as possible.
    
   HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 3.9 basis points at 5.923%
    ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include Max Metal Corporation up
100%, Thai Film Industries up 20% and TWZ Corporation up​ 16.67% 
    ** Top gainers on the Jakarta stock index include Indofarma Tbk up 24.9%,
Kimia Farma Tbk up 24.73% and Millennium Pharmacon International Tbk up
​16.28%
       
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0706 GMT                                            
   COUNTRY        FX RIC     FX DAILY %  FX YTD %     INDEX    STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD %
    Japan                      -0.07       +1.21                    0.73          -3.27
    China                      +0.01       -0.39                    0.13           8.80
    India                      -0.11       -4.60                    1.20          -8.33
  Indonesia                    +0.14       -5.51                    1.44          -18.66
   Malaysia                    +0.05       -4.01                    0.40           0.44
 Philippines                   -0.14       +2.59                   -0.23          -21.48
   S.Korea                     +0.45       -3.46                    1.39           1.42
  Singapore                    -0.08       -3.27                    0.53          -18.39
    Taiwan                     +0.37       +2.20                    1.83           3.34
   Thailand                    +0.35       -5.59                    0.90          -13.25
 
 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Pranav A K in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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