Edition:
India

Nikhil Nainan

Buy now, pay later firm Sezzle tests the waters in India for year-end launch

06 Aug 2020

BENGALURU Sezzle Inc is testing its buy-now-pay-later service in India for a potential launch at the end of the year, its chief executive officer said, capitalising on rapid global growth in online shopping as competition intensifies in the sector.

Australian regulator says Google misled users over data privacy issues

27 Jul 2020

SYDNEY Australia's competition regulator on Monday accused Alphabet's Google of misleading consumers to get permission for use of their personal data for targeted advertising, seeking a fine "in the millions" and aiming to establish a precedent.

EMERGING MARKETS-China pause sends Asia lower as infections rise

10 Jul 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * China shares set for best week since 2015 * Philippines on track for worst week since April By Nikhil Nainan July 10 Philippine stocks fell almost 1% for a second day on Friday, leading a wave of losses for Asian stocks and currencies as an eight-day rally in Chinese markets ground to a halt and investors worried about the scale of new coronavirus infections. The southeast Asian nation has reported record daily infection numbers on three of the past six days, and while Thursday saw no deaths for the first time in four months, analysts say the prospect of new restrictions to halt the outbreak is weighing on markets. Shares in Manila fell more than 0.8% in early deals, and the peso, which has proven relatively resilient this week on the back of gains for other regional currencies, lost just over 0.1%. "The Philippine market has been lagging ... as daily cases rise," said Jennifer Lomboy, a fixed income fund manager at First Metro Asset Management. "The rise in reported infections has crippled business activity ... and continues to cast doubts on economic recovery." In Indonesia, which posted its biggest single-day rise in cases on Thursday, shares were marginally lower while the rupiah fell half a percent. A Reuters poll on Thursday found bets on the Indonesian currency had turned bearish for the first time since mid-May on the prospect of further easing by the central bank which may dent the appeal of its high-yielding government bonds. Barclays, for example, expects a 25 basis point rate cut by Bank Indonesia next week in what would be the fourth cut this year. Markets in Singapore were closed for an election that is almost certain to be won by the ruling People's Action Party as the city-state's economy heads for its worst-ever recession. The 1% fall in Shanghai's main index, which often tends to drive markets across Asia, came after Chinese state-run media on Thursday urged investors stacking up on highly leveraged bets to be prudent. The editorial in the China Securities Journal also pointed back to the bursting of a stock market bubble in 2015 as the main indexes headed for an 8.3% gain this week, their best gain since that time. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Top Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN down 0.1% ahead of a likely vote by lawmakers on its license renewal - a widely watched decision for the network that has angered President Rodrigo Duterte ** Top losers in the Philippines were Bloomberry Resorts Corp, Robinsons Land Corp and Ayala Land Inc ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 1 basis points at 6.005% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0342 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan +0.15 +1.48 -0.23 -4.99 China -0.16 -0.58 -1.05 11.95 India +0.00 -4.82 0.00 -11.14 Indonesia -0.52 -3.61 -0.02 -19.82 Malaysia -0.23 -4.24 -0.07 -0.42 Philippines -0.13 +2.37 -0.84 -21.41 S.Korea -0.59 -3.84 -0.61 -1.96 Singapore -0.09 -3.53 -0.63 -17.69 Taiwan +0.39 +2.18 -0.58 1.04 Thailand -0.37 -4.43 -0.52 -13.98 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

EMERGING MARKETS-China pause sends Asia lower as infections rise

10 Jul 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * China shares set for best week since 2015 * Philippines on track for worst week since April By Nikhil Nainan July 10 Philippine stocks fell almost 1% for a second day on Friday, leading a wave of losses for Asian stocks and currencies as an eight-day rally in Chinese markets ground to a halt and investors worried about the scale of new coronavirus infections. The southeast Asian nation has reported record daily infection numbers on three of the past six days, and while Thursday saw no deaths for the first time in four months, analysts say the prospect of new restrictions to halt the outbreak is weighing on markets. Shares in Manila fell more than 0.8% in early deals, and the peso, which has proven relatively resilient this week on the back of gains for other regional currencies, lost just over 0.1%. "The Philippine market has been lagging ... as daily cases rise," said Jennifer Lomboy, a fixed income fund manager at First Metro Asset Management. "The rise in reported infections has crippled business activity ... and continues to cast doubts on economic recovery." In Indonesia, which posted its biggest single-day rise in cases on Thursday, shares were marginally lower while the rupiah fell half a percent. A Reuters poll on Thursday found bets on the Indonesian currency had turned bearish for the first time since mid-May on the prospect of further easing by the central bank which may dent the appeal of its high-yielding government bonds. Barclays, for example, expects a 25 basis point rate cut by Bank Indonesia next week in what would be the fourth cut this year. Markets in Singapore were closed for an election that is almost certain to be won by the ruling People's Action Party as the city-state's economy heads for its worst-ever recession. The 1% fall in Shanghai's main index, which often tends to drive markets across Asia, came after Chinese state-run media on Thursday urged investors stacking up on highly leveraged bets to be prudent. The editorial in the China Securities Journal also pointed back to the bursting of a stock market bubble in 2015 as the main indexes headed for an 8.3% gain this week, their best gain since that time. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Top Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN down 0.1% ahead of a likely vote by lawmakers on its license renewal - a widely watched decision for the network that has angered President Rodrigo Duterte ** Top losers in the Philippines were Bloomberry Resorts Corp, Robinsons Land Corp and Ayala Land Inc ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 1 basis points at 6.005% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0342 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan +0.15 +1.48 -0.23 -4.99 China -0.16 -0.58 -1.05 11.95 India +0.00 -4.82 0.00 -11.14 Indonesia -0.52 -3.61 -0.02 -19.82 Malaysia -0.23 -4.24 -0.07 -0.42 Philippines -0.13 +2.37 -0.84 -21.41 S.Korea -0.59 -3.84 -0.61 -1.96 Singapore -0.09 -3.53 -0.63 -17.69 Taiwan +0.39 +2.18 -0.58 1.04 Thailand -0.37 -4.43 -0.52 -13.98 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

EMERGING MARKETS-New infection spike hits Philippine shares as Asia tracks China

09 Jul 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * China shares set for 8th day of gains * Philippine shares at one-week low as infections spike By Nikhil Nainan July 9 Philippine shares fell more than 1% on Thursday after the nation reported a new daily peak of coronavirus infections, while other Asian emerging markets tiptoed higher as an eighth day of gains for China kept the mood among investors broadly positive. The rally in Shanghai's main index, which tends to set the tone for a number of other markets in the region, has been spurred by the large volumes of extra cash being pumped through the financial system and reflects hopes the global economy can recover quickly later this year. But virus flare-ups in a number of countries continue to sour that picture, with the Philippines one nation where the government has warned it may tighten its lockdown. "We have two competing narratives, where the reopening optimism suggests buy but the fear of second-wave spreaders suggests tempering one's enthusiasm," Stephen Innes, the chief global market strategist of AxiTrader said. With another 2,500-plus infections announced late on Wednesday, a fifth of the Philippines' total infections have been confirmed in the past five days. Shares are at their lowest in a week. With the U.S. dollar nursing losses, most currencies in the region were flat to slightly higher. China's yuan climbed to its strongest level since mid-March. Fiscal stimulus, heavy government borrowing driving up bond yields and a state-media editorial talking up China's strong fundamentals have supported the recent rise. Tensions between the United States and China are still high on traders' list of concerns as elections near and following China's introduction of a new national security law in Hong Kong. The market showed little or no reaction on Wednesday to a Bloomberg report that advisors to U.S. President Donald Trump had weighed proposals to undermine the Hong Kong dollar's peg to the greenback. On China's part, a senior diplomat said the two countries should release more "positive energy". HIGHLIGHTS: ** Top losers in the Philippines were Aboitiz Power Corp , Jollibee Foods Corp and SM Prime Holdings Inc ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 2.1 basis points at 7.15% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0406 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan -0.01 +1.26 0.67 -4.51 China +0.27 -0.33 1.03 12.74 India +0.00 -4.85 0.45 -11.64 Indonesia -0.17 -3.44 0.33 -19.14 Malaysia +0.12 -4.06 0.26 -0.08 Philippines +0.19 +2.52 -1.15 -20.48 S.Korea +0.06 -3.21 0.75 -1.03 Singapore +0.10 -3.25 -0.24 -17.32 Taiwan +0.56 +2.26 0.40 1.85 Thailand +0.22 -4.01 0.22 -13.61 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Richard Pullin)

EMERGING MARKETS-New infection spike hits Philippine shares as Asia tracks China

09 Jul 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * China shares set for 8th day of gains * Philippine shares at one-week low as infections spike By Nikhil Nainan July 9 Philippine shares fell more than 1% on Thursday after the nation reported a new daily peak of coronavirus infections, while other Asian emerging markets tiptoed higher as an eighth day of gains for China kept the mood among investors broadly positive. The rally in Shanghai's main index, which tends to set the tone for a number of other markets in the region, has been spurred by the large volumes of extra cash being pumped through the financial system and reflects hopes the global economy can recover quickly later this year. But virus flare-ups in a number of countries continue to sour that picture, with the Philippines one nation where the government has warned it may tighten its lockdown. "We have two competing narratives, where the reopening optimism suggests buy but the fear of second-wave spreaders suggests tempering one's enthusiasm," Stephen Innes, the chief global market strategist of AxiTrader said. With another 2,500-plus infections announced late on Wednesday, a fifth of the Philippines' total infections have been confirmed in the past five days. Shares are at their lowest in a week. With the U.S. dollar nursing losses, most currencies in the region were flat to slightly higher. China's yuan climbed to its strongest level since mid-March. Fiscal stimulus, heavy government borrowing driving up bond yields and a state-media editorial talking up China's strong fundamentals have supported the recent rise. Tensions between the United States and China are still high on traders' list of concerns as elections near and following China's introduction of a new national security law in Hong Kong. The market showed little or no reaction on Wednesday to a Bloomberg report that advisors to U.S. President Donald Trump had weighed proposals to undermine the Hong Kong dollar's peg to the greenback. On China's part, a senior diplomat said the two countries should release more "positive energy". HIGHLIGHTS: ** Top losers in the Philippines were Aboitiz Power Corp , Jollibee Foods Corp and SM Prime Holdings Inc ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 2.1 basis points at 7.15% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0406 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan -0.01 +1.26 0.67 -4.51 China +0.27 -0.33 1.03 12.74 India +0.00 -4.85 0.45 -11.64 Indonesia -0.17 -3.44 0.33 -19.14 Malaysia +0.12 -4.06 0.26 -0.08 Philippines +0.19 +2.52 -1.15 -20.48 S.Korea +0.06 -3.21 0.75 -1.03 Singapore +0.10 -3.25 -0.24 -17.32 Taiwan +0.56 +2.26 0.40 1.85 Thailand +0.22 -4.01 0.22 -13.61 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Richard Pullin)

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesian stimulus props up banking stocks amid broader Asia caution

08 Jul 2020

(Repeats. No change to text.) * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Indonesia's banking stocks drive gains on $40 bln bond scheme * Markets stuck in 'consolidative ranges' - Maybank By Nikhil Nainan July 8 Indonesia bucked Asia's second day of stock losses on Wednesday on hopes extra funds pumped into the economy from the government and central bank would strengthen the financial sector and the coronavirus-hit economy. Elsewhere, rising global infections and an increasingly cautious outlook over U.S. growth hit investor appetite for risk, keeping currencies flat and pushing stock markets in the Philippines and South Korea on the retreat. Stocks across the region were on a tear on Monday, gaining around 7% over a handful of sessions, but the mood globally has turned darker as the volume of infections stirred fears about the scale of recession to come. Central banks across Asia have been acting aggressively to ease the pain for their economies, with Malaysia the latest to cut rates on Tuesday. Daniel Dubrovsky, an analyst with DailyFX, said Indonesia's banks were gaining on the flood of extra liquidity from a government and central bank-sponsored bond scheme worth roughly $40 billion. Ratings agency S&P said earlier this week that the details of the scheme, which involves both central bank bond-buying and support for businesses, had calmed its concerns about any impact on Indonesia's credit rating. Indonesian shares gained 1.3% in morning trade to hit a one-month high. The rupiah was flat against the dollar . Maybank analysts said in a note that markets across the region were stuck in "consolidative ranges", weighed down by fears that the rise in infections could hit activity in the third quarter and undermine recent positive data as countries eased restrictions. Bloomberg reported Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte as saying the country would "have to be very circumspect in reopening the economy", as cases mount. Stocks were around a third of a percent lower. Currency markets in both emerging and developed parts of Asia were largely flat as the cautious global mood supported this week's flows into the dollar. The biggest move in southeast Asia came from the Philippine peso, which advanced just 0.2%. HIGHLIGHTS: ** The top boost to the Jakarta stock index bank Bank Central Asia Tbk, up 2.7% followed by Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk were gained 4.5% ** In the Philippines, top losers were Aboitiz Power Corp , which fell 3.19% and Ayala Land Inc, down -2.59% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0405 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan -0.07 +0.95 -0.22 -4.61 China -0.09 -0.79 0.74 10.49 India +0.00 -4.74 0.25 -11.01 Indonesia +0.00 -3.61 1.34 -19.75 Malaysia -0.05 -4.35 0.66 -0.73 Philippines +0.22 +2.36 -0.32 -20.05 S.Korea +0.10 -3.19 -0.25 -1.77 Singapore +0.01 -3.61 -0.02 -17.44 Taiwan +0.50 +2.29 0.65 1.46 Thailand +0.00 -4.29 0.17 -12.97 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Sam Holmes)

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesian stimulus props up banking stocks amid broader Asia caution

08 Jul 2020

* Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Indonesia's banking stocks drive gains on $40 bln bond scheme * Markets stuck in 'consolidative ranges' - Maybank By Nikhil Nainan July 8 Indonesia bucked Asia's second day of stock losses on Wednesday on hopes extra funds pumped into the economy from the government and central bank would strengthen the financial sector and the coronavirus-hit economy. Elsewhere, rising global infections and an increasingly cautious outlook over U.S. growth hit investor appetite for risk, keeping currencies flat and pushing stock markets in the Philippines and South Korea on the retreat. Stocks across the region were on a tear on Monday, gaining around 7% over a handful of sessions, but the mood globally has turned darker as the volume of infections stirred fears about the scale of recession to come. Central banks across Asia have been acting aggressively to ease the pain for their economies, with Malaysia the latest to cut rates on Tuesday. Daniel Dubrovsky, an analyst with DailyFX, said Indonesia's banks were gaining on the flood of extra liquidity from a government and central bank-sponsored bond scheme worth roughly $40 billion. Ratings agency S&P said earlier this week that the details of the scheme, which involves both central bank bond-buying and support for businesses, had calmed its concerns about any impact on Indonesia's credit rating. Indonesian shares gained 1.3% in morning trade to hit a one-month high. The rupiah was flat against the dollar . Maybank analysts said in a note that markets across the region were stuck in "consolidative ranges", weighed down by fears that the rise in infections could hit activity in the third quarter and undermine recent positive data as countries eased restrictions. Bloomberg reported Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte as saying the country would "have to be very circumspect in reopening the economy", as cases mount. Stocks were around a third of a percent lower. Currency markets in both emerging and developed parts of Asia were largely flat as the cautious global mood supported this week's flows into the dollar. The biggest move in southeast Asia came from the Philippine peso, which advanced just 0.2%. HIGHLIGHTS: ** The top boost to the Jakarta stock index bank Bank Central Asia Tbk, up 2.7% followed by Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk were gained 4.5% ** In the Philippines, top losers were Aboitiz Power Corp , which fell 3.19% and Ayala Land Inc, down -2.59% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0405 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan -0.07 +0.95 -0.22 -4.61 China -0.09 -0.79 0.74 10.49 India +0.00 -4.74 0.25 -11.01 Indonesia +0.00 -3.61 1.34 -19.75 Malaysia -0.05 -4.35 0.66 -0.73 Philippines +0.22 +2.36 -0.32 -20.05 S.Korea +0.10 -3.19 -0.25 -1.77 Singapore +0.01 -3.61 -0.02 -17.44 Taiwan +0.50 +2.29 0.65 1.46 Thailand +0.00 -4.29 0.17 -12.97 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Sam Holmes)

EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysia's ringgit falls off 2-week high after rate cut, Asia stocks fall

07 Jul 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Malaysia interest rates cut to record low of 1.75% * Indonesia's rupiah gains after bond buying details revealed * Philippine inflation picks up in June By Nikhil Nainan July 7 Malaysia's ringgit pulled back from a two-week high on Tuesday after its central bank reduced the official interest rate return on the currency by another quarter point, defying the expectations of some market players. The move was the bank's fourth this year and took rates in the Southeast Asia's third-largest economy to a historic low of just 1.75% as the bank predicted inflation would move into negative territory this year. Analysts had been split almost down the middle on the outcome of the meeting, with a slim majority expecting a reduction in borrowing costs and two analysts supporting a bigger half point move. The ringgit, which had trended higher in morning trade, dipped to trade flat after the move, while stocks remained in line with regional losses. Elsewhere, Asia's emerging and developed stock markets cooled off after a recent rally fuelled by recovery hopes and Chinese stock market gains, with South Korean shares the biggest faller with a 1.1% decline. Chinese shares extended their run and rose 1.3%, while Thailand, playing catch-up after a holiday on Monday, was the only southeast Asian country to match those gains. The cut in Malaysia follows similar moves in Indonesia and the Philippines in the last month as policymakers look to soften the economic hit from the pandemic and support recovery. Indonesian officials on Monday laid out details of a $40 billion bond-buying programme. The country's rupiah advanced more than half a percent on Tuesday. In the Philippines, where COVID-19 infections are still rising, inflation picked up faster than expected in June as economic activity gradually resumed, but economists expect consumption to remain sluggish in the second half. Both Philippine shares and the peso dipped. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield down 0.5 basis points at 2.927% ** Top Malaysia stock gainers Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include Max Metal Corp PCL and AQ Estate PCL Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0720 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan -0.18 +0.99 -0.44 -4.40 China -0.03 -0.83 0.37 9.68 India -0.34 -4.73 -0.09 -11.61 Indonesia +0.54 -3.36 0.08 -20.78 Malaysia +0.05 -4.31 -0.42 -1.16 Philippines -0.41 +2.26 -0.96 -19.81 S.Korea +0.01 -3.29 -1.09 -1.52 Singapore -0.14 -3.56 -0.65 -17.11 Taiwan +0.45 +2.33 -0.20 0.80 Thailand +0.00 -3.89 1.34 -11.98 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Anil D'Silva)

EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysia's ringgit falls off 2-week high after rate cut, Asia stocks fall

07 Jul 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Malaysia interest rates cut to record low of 1.75% * Indonesia's rupiah gains after bond buying details revealed * Philippine inflation picks up in June By Nikhil Nainan July 7 Malaysia's ringgit pulled back from a two-week high on Tuesday after its central bank reduced the official interest rate return on the currency by another quarter point, defying the expectations of some market players. The move was the bank's fourth this year and took rates in the Southeast Asia's third-largest economy to a historic low of just 1.75% as the bank predicted inflation would move into negative territory this year. Analysts had been split almost down the middle on the outcome of the meeting, with a slim majority expecting a reduction in borrowing costs and two analysts supporting a bigger half point move. The ringgit, which had trended higher in morning trade, dipped to trade flat after the move, while stocks remained in line with regional losses. Elsewhere, Asia's emerging and developed stock markets cooled off after a recent rally fuelled by recovery hopes and Chinese stock market gains, with South Korean shares the biggest faller with a 1.1% decline. Chinese shares extended their run and rose 1.3%, while Thailand, playing catch-up after a holiday on Monday, was the only southeast Asian country to match those gains. The cut in Malaysia follows similar moves in Indonesia and the Philippines in the last month as policymakers look to soften the economic hit from the pandemic and support recovery. Indonesian officials on Monday laid out details of a $40 billion bond-buying programme. The country's rupiah advanced more than half a percent on Tuesday. In the Philippines, where COVID-19 infections are still rising, inflation picked up faster than expected in June as economic activity gradually resumed, but economists expect consumption to remain sluggish in the second half. Both Philippine shares and the peso dipped. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield down 0.5 basis points at 2.927% ** Top Malaysia stock gainers Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI include Max Metal Corp PCL and AQ Estate PCL Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0720 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan -0.18 +0.99 -0.44 -4.40 China -0.03 -0.83 0.37 9.68 India -0.34 -4.73 -0.09 -11.61 Indonesia +0.54 -3.36 0.08 -20.78 Malaysia +0.05 -4.31 -0.42 -1.16 Philippines -0.41 +2.26 -0.96 -19.81 S.Korea +0.01 -3.29 -1.09 -1.52 Singapore -0.14 -3.56 -0.65 -17.11 Taiwan +0.45 +2.33 -0.20 0.80 Thailand +0.00 -3.89 1.34 -11.98 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Anil D'Silva)

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