July 6, 2020 / 9:22 AM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Philippines bucks China-led Asia rally as new infections spike

    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Malaysia's central bank policy rate decision on Tuesday
    * China's main index posts biggest one-day jump since 2015

    By Nikhil Nainan
    July 6 (Reuters) - The Philippine stock market failed to
join a broader regional rally led by a surge in Chinese shares
on Monday, as a spike in new coronavirus cases in the Southeast
Asian country stoked fears of fresh economic restrictions.
    Stock markets across emerging and developed parts of Asia,
including India, Malaysia, Singapore and
South Korea, rose at least 1% as Shanghai surged more
than 5% to touch its highest levels in more than two years.

    The U.S. dollar also weakened against most of its Asian
peers, with the Philippine peso advancing the most. 
    However, the single-highest daily jump in COVID-19 cases on
Sunday in the Philippines dragged local shares 0.7% lower
on the prospect of fresh restrictions that would deal a blow to
hopes of a swift economic recovery.
    The 2,000-plus cases reported on Sunday was a "shocker",
said Nicholas Mapa, ING's senior economist for Philippines,
adding what was most worrying was infections outside the capital
in areas less well equipped to handle an outbreak.
    In Malaysia, where a small majority of economists polled by
Reuters expect an interest rate cut on Tuesday, shares climbed
to their highest in nearly a month.
    HSBC's Chief ASEAN Economist Joseph Incalcaterra errs on the
side of a hold on rates by Bank Negara Malaysia and said in a
note on Monday that Malaysia still has more policy space than
others and has no particular urgency to act now.
    Malaysia has already cut rates three times this year to 2%,
the lowest level it has ever been. 
    The yield on Malaysian 10-year bonds traded
roughly in line with Friday's close, its lowest since May.
    Markets in Thailand were closed for a holiday.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** The Philippines' top loser was First Gen Corp
down 4.84%, followed by Bloomberry Resorts Corp and
Security Bank Corp 
    ** In Malaysia, Top Glove Corp led the gains 
    
            Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0731 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX          FX       FX      INDEX    STOCKS    STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY %   YTD %
 Japan                    -0.07    +0.96            1.83      -3.98
 China                    +0.51    -0.97            5.71      9.27
 India                    -0.18    -4.53            1.68      -11.37
 Indonesia                +0.04    -3.90            0.20      -20.91
 Malaysia                 +0.12    -4.46            1.40      -0.91
 Philippines              +0.37    +2.64            -0.69     -19.02
 S.Korea                  +0.23    -3.29            1.65      -0.44
 Singapore                +0.23    -3.37            1.56      -16.39
 Taiwan                   +0.34    +2.02            1.74      1.00
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Sriraj Kalluvila)
  
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