July 27, 2020 / 7:53 AM / 15 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine stocks near two-month low, virus woes hit Vietnam

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Vietnam stocks hit lowest since May 6
    * Peso hits more than 3-1/2 year high
    * Thailand markets shut for holiday

    By Shashwat Awasthi and Pranav A K
    July 27 (Reuters) - Philippines shares sank more than 2% on Monday, deepening a sell-off
this month, as coronavirus cases mounted and the country's central bank gave a grim economic
outlook for 2020 ahead of a state of the nation address from President Rodrigo Duterte.
    The Taiwanese dollar and the South Korean won led gains across Asia
against a globally weak U.S. dollar, with Indonesia's rupiah firming for the fifth
straight session.
    In a quarterly inflation report, however, the Bangko Sentral NG Pilipinas affirmed its
earlier view that its economy would continue to contract for the next two quarters, highlighting
the pain ahead as new virus cases continue to run at more than 2,000 daily.
    The risk of a second wave of infections also plagued Vietnam stocks, which plunged as
much as 5.8% after the country reported new locally transmitted coronavirus cases in more than
three months.
    Dominic Scriven, chairman of Ho Chi Minh-based asset manager Dragon Capital, said the
discovery of the new virus cluster had been a "shock to the system" for investors.
    In Manila, the central bank again emphasised that keeping policy accommodative would
mitigate risks to the economy, but stocks still slid for a fifth consecutive day to their
lowest since June 1.
    The fall leaves them down around 25% for the year against a dip of just 2% for MSCI's broad
index of Asia shares outside Japan.
    Jennifer Mae V. Lomboy, a fund manager at First Metro Asset Management said Philippine
stocks faced "downward bias as the market awaits direction and concrete support from the
government" in the state of the nation address.
    "The officials' balanced action between virus containment and economic activity resumption
are crucial for investors at this point," she said.
    Riding the global wave against the dollar, however, the peso hit its highest since
November 2016.
    Investors have been driven out of the traditional security of the dollar by worries about
renewed lockdowns in the United States, bickering over a new fiscal support package and
escalating tensions with China.
        
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is up 1 basis points at 0.822%
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Bloomberry Resorts down 8.09%, Bank
of the Philippine Islands down 6.47% and Robinsons Land down 5.66%
    ** Top gainers on the Jakarta stock index include Bank Maybank Indonesia Tbk
 up 34.44%, Bank IBK Indonesia Tbk up 34.29% and Sarana Meditama Metropolitan
Tbk up ​25.76%
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0706 GMT                                           
   COUNTRY      FX RIC    FX DAILY %    FX YTD %    INDEX    STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD %
    Japan                    +0.60       +2.96                   -0.16           -3.98
    China                    +0.27       -0.50                   -0.04           4.77
    India                    -0.02       -4.52                   -0.37           -8.34
  Indonesia                  +0.28       -4.28                    0.46          -18.94
  Malaysia                   +0.28       -3.74                    0.08           0.13
 Philippines                 +0.22       +2.95                   -2.37          -25.01
   S.Korea                   +0.45       -3.32                    0.79           0.92
  Singapore                  +0.16       -2.57                   -0.20          -20.12
   Taiwan                    +0.68       +2.56                    2.31           4.93
  Thailand                   0.00        -5.59                    0.00          -15.12
 
 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and A K Pranav in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Vinay
Dwivedi)
  
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