Edition:
India

Shashwat Awasthi

Australia shares end lower as vaccine doubts weigh

27 Nov 2020

* ASX 200 still on track for best month ever (Updates to close)

POLL-Investors trim long bets on Asia FX ahead of U.S. election

29 Oct 2020

* Investors nearly neutral on five of nine emerging Asian currencies * Long positions on S.Korean won at near three-year high By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 29 Investors scaled back bullish positions in several emerging Asian currencies, a Reuters poll showed, as they adopt a wait-and-watch approach on uncertainty ahead of the U.S. presidential election and rising coronavirus cases globally. Market participants turned almost neutral on the Philippine peso and the Indian rupee, while long positions in the Chinese yuan and the Singapore dollar were snipped, the fortnightly poll of 13 respondents showed. The U.S. dollar, considered a safe-haven asset during times of uncertainty, has strengthened in recent sessions as escalating coronavirus cases, particularly in Europe, stoked fears of fresh lockdowns that would hamper a global economic rebound. The greenback's appeal may be enhanced further in the near-term as markets brace for the Nov. 3 election in the United States, which analysts have warned could induce even more volatility. "There are two dimensions of risk as we head into the U.S. elections - election outcome and outcome uncertainty," analysts at Singapore-based bank DBS said in a note last week. "The prospect of a contested election leading to risk aversion is significant." Investors also cut long bets on the Malaysian ringgit, as a leadership challenge to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin stokes political uncertainty at a time when the country is already grappling with rising coronavirus infections. Taiwan's dollar and South Korea's won continued to be the stand out picks, with long bets on both currencies nudged higher, as increased demand for tech gadgets during the pandemic supports exports and spurs growth. Bullish positions in the won were at their highest since November 2017, while those in the Taiwanese dollar remained a more than two-and-a-half year high. Investors also turned slightly less bearish on the Indonesian rupiah, the region's worst performing currency so far this year. Indonesia's central bank said earlier this week that it had room to further cut its benchmark interest rate and reiterated that the rupiah's exchange rate remains undervalued. The Asian currency positioning poll is focused on what analysts and fund managers believe are the current market positions in nine Asian emerging market currencies: the Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian rupiah, Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit and the Thai baht. The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a scale of minus 3 to plus 3. A score of plus 3 indicates the market is significantly long U.S. dollars. The figures include positions held through non-deliverable forwards (NDFs). The survey findings are provided below (positions in U.S. dollar versus each currency): DD/MM CNY KRW SGD IDR TWD INR MYR PHP THB 29/10 -0.86 -1.14 -0.49 0.09 -1.23 -0.07 -0.03 -0.09 -0.02 15/10 -1.07 -0.94 -0.72 0.35 -1.12 -0.44 -0.33 -0.15 0.10 01/10 -0.47 -0.53 -0.25 0.61 -0.68 -0.31 -0.31 -0.68 0.38 17/09 -1.25 -0.60 -0.61 0.39 -0.51 -0.54 -0.89 -1.07 -0.17 03/09 -1.41 -0.71 -0.99 -0.19 -0.40 -0.91 -0.96 -1.34 -0.15 20/08 -1.02 -0.71 -0.69 0.43 -0.31 -0.35 -0.62 -1.12 -0.21 06/08 -0.81 -0.44 -0.57 0.45 -0.54 -0.31 -0.29 -0.76 -0.2 23/07 -0.8 -0.19 -0.09 0.61 -0.34 -0.38 -0.22 -0.61 0.24 09/07 -0.37 -0.06 0.13 0.26 -0.22 -0.33 -0.07 -0.48 -0.09 25/06 0.08 0.16 -0.05 -0.05 -0.28 0.10 0.07 -0.05 -0.24 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

EMERGING MARKETS-Thai stocks kip up after govt lifts emergency measures

22 Oct 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Baht hits two-week low * Manila shares touch more than 3-month high By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 22 Thai shares bounced from earlier losses on Thursday after the government lifted emergency measures aimed at ending months-long protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the monarchy. Uncertainty over whether U.S. lawmakers would be able to agree on and deliver a new coronavirus relief deal weighed on other emerging Asian markets, as most currencies dipped between 0.1% and 0.3% against the dollar. Thailand's stock market, the region's worst performer so far this year, gained as much as 0.4% after falling almost 1% earlier, as the government rolled back its emergency decree to de-escalate simmering tensions. "Indeed, lifting of emergency to curb protests is positive news for the markets," said Prakash Sakpal, senior Asia economist at Dutch bank ING. However, Sakpal warned that the move was unlikely to result in a swift resolution of matters and would "further strengthen protesters' resolve in their anti-government movement." Protesters had continuously defied the measures imposed last week, including bans on political gatherings of five or more people. On Wednesday, they gave the prime minister a three-day deadline to step down or face more protests. "The lifting of the state of emergency is a small relief rally... But key demands have not changed, especially for the PM to step down within three days from yesterday," said Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital markets research at Kasikornbank. "Still, the market will take any good news it can." Investors have been dumping Thai stocks of late and the country has already seen record equity outflows so far this year, while analysts have also warned of the risk of an even deeper sell-off. The baht weakened 0.3%, in line with other regional currencies. Elsewhere in the region, Taiwan's dollar was the only outlier as it firmed 0.9% to continue its bullish rise. Malaysian equities were subdued, but fared slightly better than the rest of the region on the back of some signs of easing political worries. The biggest party in Malaysia's ruling alliance on Wednesday pledged its support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, providing him temporary reprieve following opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's recent claim to form a new government. The Philippines recorded its lowest daily increase in coronavirus cases in more than six weeks on Wednesday, helping stocks rise more than 1% to their highest since July 7. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Thailand's 3-year benchmark yield is down 2 basis points at 0.66% ** Top gainers on Thailand's SETI include Gold Property Fund Lease Hold up 17.65%, Thai-German Products up 16.67% and TU Dome Residential Complex Leasehold Property Fund up​ 10.96% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are LT Group up 6.98%, Robinsons Land up 6.04% and San Miguel Corp up ​3.63% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0655 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan -0.02 +3.85 -0.70 -0.77 China -0.21 +4.49 -0.35 8.63 India -0.05 -3.05 -0.34 -2.23 Indonesia -0.27 -5.26 -0.26 -19.31 Malaysia -0.14 -1.40 -0.03 -6.09 Philippines -0.08 +4.33 1.05 -18.82 S.Korea -0.09 +2.07 -0.67 7.16 Singapore -0.15 -0.86 -0.03 -21.66 Taiwan +0.88 +5.12 0.31 7.67 Thailand -0.29 -4.32 0.44 -22.66 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

EMERGING MARKETS-Thai stocks kip up after govt lifts emergency measures

22 Oct 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Baht hits two-week low * Manila shares touch more than 3-month high By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 22 Thai shares bounced from earlier losses on Thursday after the government lifted emergency measures aimed at ending months-long protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the monarchy. Uncertainty over whether U.S. lawmakers would be able to agree on and deliver a new coronavirus relief deal weighed on other emerging Asian markets, as most currencies dipped between 0.1% and 0.3% against the dollar. Thailand's stock market, the region's worst performer so far this year, gained as much as 0.4% after falling almost 1% earlier, as the government rolled back its emergency decree to de-escalate simmering tensions. "Indeed, lifting of emergency to curb protests is positive news for the markets," said Prakash Sakpal, senior Asia economist at Dutch bank ING. However, Sakpal warned that the move was unlikely to result in a swift resolution of matters and would "further strengthen protesters' resolve in their anti-government movement." Protesters had continuously defied the measures imposed last week, including bans on political gatherings of five or more people. On Wednesday, they gave the prime minister a three-day deadline to step down or face more protests. "The lifting of the state of emergency is a small relief rally... But key demands have not changed, especially for the PM to step down within three days from yesterday," said Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital markets research at Kasikornbank. "Still, the market will take any good news it can." Investors have been dumping Thai stocks of late and the country has already seen record equity outflows so far this year, while analysts have also warned of the risk of an even deeper sell-off. The baht weakened 0.3%, in line with other regional currencies. Elsewhere in the region, Taiwan's dollar was the only outlier as it firmed 0.9% to continue its bullish rise. Malaysian equities were subdued, but fared slightly better than the rest of the region on the back of some signs of easing political worries. The biggest party in Malaysia's ruling alliance on Wednesday pledged its support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, providing him temporary reprieve following opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's recent claim to form a new government. The Philippines recorded its lowest daily increase in coronavirus cases in more than six weeks on Wednesday, helping stocks rise more than 1% to their highest since July 7. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Thailand's 3-year benchmark yield is down 2 basis points at 0.66% ** Top gainers on Thailand's SETI include Gold Property Fund Lease Hold up 17.65%, Thai-German Products up 16.67% and TU Dome Residential Complex Leasehold Property Fund up​ 10.96% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are LT Group up 6.98%, Robinsons Land up 6.04% and San Miguel Corp up ​3.63% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0655 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan -0.02 +3.85 -0.70 -0.77 China -0.21 +4.49 -0.35 8.63 India -0.05 -3.05 -0.34 -2.23 Indonesia -0.27 -5.26 -0.26 -19.31 Malaysia -0.14 -1.40 -0.03 -6.09 Philippines -0.08 +4.33 1.05 -18.82 S.Korea -0.09 +2.07 -0.67 7.16 Singapore -0.15 -0.86 -0.03 -21.66 Taiwan +0.88 +5.12 0.31 7.67 Thailand -0.29 -4.32 0.44 -22.66 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

EMERGING MARKETS-Thai baht, shares drop as political worries simmer

22 Oct 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Baht hits two-week low * S.Korea shares set for worst day in almost a month By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 22 Thailand's baht fell and stocks hovered near six-month lows on Thursday amid few signs that political protests in the country would let up, while uncertainty around a new U.S. coronavirus relief deal weighed on most emerging Asian markets. Thai protesters, who have so far defied a ban on demonstrations, on Wednesday gave Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha a three day deadline to step down or face more protests. Thailand's baht fell 0.4% and its stock market, the region's worst performer so far this year, gave up another 0.8%, even as the government offered to lift emergency measures in Bangkok and called for de-escalation of tensions. "We believe the risk of clashes between protesters and royalists is rising," CGS-CIMB's Kasem Prunratanamala said in a note, adding protests were likely to continue in the near-term. Investors have been dumping Thai stocks of late and the country has already seen record equity outflows so far this year, while analysts have also warned of the risk of an even deeper sell-off. In broader Asia, sentiment remained nervy as market participants remained unsure whether U.S. lawmakers would be able to agree on and deliver a new stimulus package soon. "Negotiations between Democrats and White House officials are ongoing but hopes for relief ahead of the Nov 3 elections are fading fast," economists at Dutch bank ING said in a note. The U.S. dollar steadied as risk appetite waned, leading most emerging Asian currencies to dip between 0.1% and 0.3% against the greenback. Taiwan's dollar stood out, however, as it firmed 0.9% to continue its bullish rise. Stocks in South Korea fell the most in the region, sliding 1% on dented hopes of a U.S. stimulus bill and a rising domestic coronavirus case count. Malaysian equities also inched lower, but fared slightly better than the rest of the region on the back of some signs of easing political worries. The biggest party in Malaysia's ruling alliance on Wednesday pledged its support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, providing him temporary reprieve following opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's recent claim that he can form a new government. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 1.9 basis points at 6.639% ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include MFC-Nichada Thani Property Fund down 13.42%, Apex Development PCL down 12.5% and CPN Retail Growth Leasehold REIT down 6.88% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are LT Group up 5.55%, San Miguel Corp up 3.53% and Bloomberry Resorts up ​3.39% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0416 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan -0.13 +3.73 -0.78 -0.85 China -0.25 +4.44 -0.83 8.10 India -0.20 -3.19 -0.44 -2.33 Indonesia -0.27 -5.26 -0.39 -19.41 Malaysia -0.14 -1.40 -0.07 -6.13 Philippines -0.13 +4.28 0.21 -19.49 S.Korea -0.29 +1.87 -0.96 6.85 Singapore -0.20 -0.90 -0.22 -21.80 Taiwan +0.85 +5.09 -0.22 7.10 Thailand -0.38 -4.41 -0.71 -23.55 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

EMERGING MARKETS-Thai baht, shares drop as political worries simmer

22 Oct 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Baht hits two-week low * S.Korea shares set for worst day in almost a month By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 22 Thailand's baht fell and stocks hovered near six-month lows on Thursday amid few signs that political protests in the country would let up, while uncertainty around a new U.S. coronavirus relief deal weighed on most emerging Asian markets. Thai protesters, who have so far defied a ban on demonstrations, on Wednesday gave Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha a three day deadline to step down or face more protests. Thailand's baht fell 0.4% and its stock market, the region's worst performer so far this year, gave up another 0.8%, even as the government offered to lift emergency measures in Bangkok and called for de-escalation of tensions. "We believe the risk of clashes between protesters and royalists is rising," CGS-CIMB's Kasem Prunratanamala said in a note, adding protests were likely to continue in the near-term. Investors have been dumping Thai stocks of late and the country has already seen record equity outflows so far this year, while analysts have also warned of the risk of an even deeper sell-off. In broader Asia, sentiment remained nervy as market participants remained unsure whether U.S. lawmakers would be able to agree on and deliver a new stimulus package soon. "Negotiations between Democrats and White House officials are ongoing but hopes for relief ahead of the Nov 3 elections are fading fast," economists at Dutch bank ING said in a note. The U.S. dollar steadied as risk appetite waned, leading most emerging Asian currencies to dip between 0.1% and 0.3% against the greenback. Taiwan's dollar stood out, however, as it firmed 0.9% to continue its bullish rise. Stocks in South Korea fell the most in the region, sliding 1% on dented hopes of a U.S. stimulus bill and a rising domestic coronavirus case count. Malaysian equities also inched lower, but fared slightly better than the rest of the region on the back of some signs of easing political worries. The biggest party in Malaysia's ruling alliance on Wednesday pledged its support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, providing him temporary reprieve following opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's recent claim that he can form a new government. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 1.9 basis points at 6.639% ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include MFC-Nichada Thani Property Fund down 13.42%, Apex Development PCL down 12.5% and CPN Retail Growth Leasehold REIT down 6.88% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are LT Group up 5.55%, San Miguel Corp up 3.53% and Bloomberry Resorts up ​3.39% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0416 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan -0.13 +3.73 -0.78 -0.85 China -0.25 +4.44 -0.83 8.10 India -0.20 -3.19 -0.44 -2.33 Indonesia -0.27 -5.26 -0.39 -19.41 Malaysia -0.14 -1.40 -0.07 -6.13 Philippines -0.13 +4.28 0.21 -19.49 S.Korea -0.29 +1.87 -0.96 6.85 Singapore -0.20 -0.90 -0.22 -21.80 Taiwan +0.85 +5.09 -0.22 7.10 Thailand -0.38 -4.41 -0.71 -23.55 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

EMERGING MARKETS-Thai stocks plumb 6-month lows as anti-govt protests grow

19 Oct 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Bangkok stocks hit lowest since April 16 * Manila stocks hit near six-week high * Taiwan dollar set for best day in 4 months By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 19 Thai shares sank to a six-month low on Monday as escalating anti-government protests threatened to trigger an even deeper sell-off in equities and heaped further pressure on the region's worst performing stock market this year. Protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and curbs on powers of the monarchy have compounded Thailand's woes in recent months after the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged its tourism-reliant economy. Bangkok stocks, which have lost more than 23% so far this year, slid as much as 2.1% to their lowest since April 16 and endured their worst day since June. "It's quite a surprise to me to see such heavy sell-off this morning," said Poon Panichpibool, a market strategist at Krung Thai Bank. "In the short term, I think investors (local and foreign) will reduce their exposures to Thai equities, which could lead to deeper market correction," he said, warning of a deeper sell-off if investors began to expect a prolonged political turmoil. Thailand has already suffered a record $8.8 billion in equity outflows over the first nine months of this year, exchange data shows. Prakash Sakpal, senior Asia economist at Dutch bank ING, also highlighted risks to Thai assets from the uncertainty. "History shows how ugly such political outbursts in Thailand could get... As such, I think risky Thai assets might be a no-go zone until the political dust clears," Sakpal said. Philippine stocks soared more than 2% after the lower parliamentary house on Friday approved the 2021 budget, which the government hopes will underpin recovery from a pandemic-led downturn. Timely passage of the budget had been threatened recently by a leadership row among Philippine lawmakers, and Jennifer Lomboy, a fixed income fund manager at First Metro Asset Management, said the approval lowered the probability of a re-enacted budget. Most other emerging Asian stock markets rose as investors pinned their hopes on the prospect of a fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus deal and took comfort from data that showed China's economic recovery accelerated in the third quarter. Stocks in Malaysia, also dampened by political uncertainty in recent weeks, rose as much as 0.7% after three straight sessions of losses. Currencies in the region largely traded in narrow ranges as investors awaited signs of progress on a U.S. stimulus deal before making firmer bets, though Taiwan's dollar continued to be an outlier and firmed 0.8%. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield up 8.70 basis points at 2.599% ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Samui Buri Property Fund, down 14.37%, Thai-German Products, down 14.29% and Apex Development, down 12.5% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are GT Capital Holdings, up 5.58%, Jollibee Foods, up 5.17%, and JG Summit Holdings, up 4.69% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0656 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.02 +3.07 1.11 0.06 China -0.02 +3.92 -0.81 8.50 India +0.04 -2.77 0.69 -2.67 Indonesia -0.20 -5.58 0.24 -18.79 Malaysia +0.02 -1.35 0.58 -4.80 Philippines -0.01 +4.08 2.05 -22.98 S.Korea +0.47 +1.26 0.22 6.78 Singapore +0.04 -0.95 0.42 -21.08 Taiwan +0.89 +4.81 1.24 7.60 Thailand -0.06 -4.17 -1.84 -23.35 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

EMERGING MARKETS-Thai stocks plumb 6-month lows as anti-govt protests grow

19 Oct 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Bangkok stocks hit lowest since April 16 * Manila stocks hit near six-week high * Taiwan dollar set for best day in 4 months By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 19 Thai shares sank to a six-month low on Monday as escalating anti-government protests threatened to trigger an even deeper sell-off in equities and heaped further pressure on the region's worst performing stock market this year. Protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and curbs on powers of the monarchy have compounded Thailand's woes in recent months after the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged its tourism-reliant economy. Bangkok stocks, which have lost more than 23% so far this year, slid as much as 2.1% to their lowest since April 16 and endured their worst day since June. "It's quite a surprise to me to see such heavy sell-off this morning," said Poon Panichpibool, a market strategist at Krung Thai Bank. "In the short term, I think investors (local and foreign) will reduce their exposures to Thai equities, which could lead to deeper market correction," he said, warning of a deeper sell-off if investors began to expect a prolonged political turmoil. Thailand has already suffered a record $8.8 billion in equity outflows over the first nine months of this year, exchange data shows. Prakash Sakpal, senior Asia economist at Dutch bank ING, also highlighted risks to Thai assets from the uncertainty. "History shows how ugly such political outbursts in Thailand could get... As such, I think risky Thai assets might be a no-go zone until the political dust clears," Sakpal said. Philippine stocks soared more than 2% after the lower parliamentary house on Friday approved the 2021 budget, which the government hopes will underpin recovery from a pandemic-led downturn. Timely passage of the budget had been threatened recently by a leadership row among Philippine lawmakers, and Jennifer Lomboy, a fixed income fund manager at First Metro Asset Management, said the approval lowered the probability of a re-enacted budget. Most other emerging Asian stock markets rose as investors pinned their hopes on the prospect of a fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus deal and took comfort from data that showed China's economic recovery accelerated in the third quarter. Stocks in Malaysia, also dampened by political uncertainty in recent weeks, rose as much as 0.7% after three straight sessions of losses. Currencies in the region largely traded in narrow ranges as investors awaited signs of progress on a U.S. stimulus deal before making firmer bets, though Taiwan's dollar continued to be an outlier and firmed 0.8%. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield up 8.70 basis points at 2.599% ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Samui Buri Property Fund, down 14.37%, Thai-German Products, down 14.29% and Apex Development, down 12.5% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are GT Capital Holdings, up 5.58%, Jollibee Foods, up 5.17%, and JG Summit Holdings, up 4.69% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0656 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan +0.02 +3.07 1.11 0.06 China -0.02 +3.92 -0.81 8.50 India +0.04 -2.77 0.69 -2.67 Indonesia -0.20 -5.58 0.24 -18.79 Malaysia +0.02 -1.35 0.58 -4.80 Philippines -0.01 +4.08 2.05 -22.98 S.Korea +0.47 +1.26 0.22 6.78 Singapore +0.04 -0.95 0.42 -21.08 Taiwan +0.89 +4.81 1.24 7.60 Thailand -0.06 -4.17 -1.84 -23.35 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

EMERGING MARKETS-Thai stocks sink to 6-month low as anti-govt protests grow

19 Oct 2020

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3lKhL5I * Thai stocks at lowest since April 16 * Taiwan dollar set for best day since January 2017 By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 19 Thai shares languished at a six-month low on Monday as escalating anti-government protests threatened to further erode investor confidence in the country and heaped further pressure on the region's worst performing stock market this year. Protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and curbs on powers of the monarchy have compounded Thailand's woes in recent months after the coronavirus pandemic ravaged its tourism-reliant economy. Bangkok stocks, which have lost more than 23% so far this year, slid as much as 1.7% to their lowest since April 16 and were set for their worst day since June. "As no signs of an end to domestic political protests are yet in sight, Thai stocks look to continue their downward bias," analysts at Phillip Securities Thailand said in a note. They warned that protracted political protests could further exacerbate the country's tourism sector and that the foreign sell-off in Thai stocks may be higher than usual due to the political worries. Thailand has already suffered a record $8.8 billion in equity outflows over the first nine months of this year, exchange data shows. Most other emerging Asian stock markets rose as investors pinned their hopes on the prospect of a fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus deal and took comfort that China's economic recovery accelerated in the third quarter. Uncertainty over whether U.S. lawmakers can agree on a fiscal package before the Nov. 3 election has weighed on sentiment recently. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday she was optimistic legislation could be pushed through before Election Day. Philippine stocks jumped 0.9% after the lower parliamentary house on Friday approved the 2021 budget, which the government hopes will underpin an economy recovering from a pandemic-led downturn. Jennifer Lomboy, a fixed income fund manager at First Metro Asset Management, said Congress' timely passage of the budget gives the Senate a two week head start to study the bill before sessions resume in November and reduces the chance of a re-enacted budget. "We also think that PSEi might inch up higher today as the economy further opens on the decision of the government to ease mobility restrictions," she said. Stocks in Malaysia, also dampened by political uncertainty in recent weeks, rose 0.7% after three straight days of losses. Most regional currencies inched higher in narrow ranges with the market awaiting signs of progress on a U.S. stimulus deal before making firmer bets. Taiwan's dollar, the region's best performing currency so far this year as the pandemic drives demand for tech gadgets from the export-reliant economy, continued to be an outlier as it firmed nearly 1%. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 7 basis points at 6.689% ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Thai-German Products down 14.29%, Apex Development off 12.5% and G J Steel down 11.11% ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are GT Capital Holdings up 5.21%, Jollibee Foods up 5.17% and Bloomberry Resorts up ​3.78% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0409 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan -0.03 +3.02 1.14 0.09 China -0.02 +3.92 -0.33 9.02 India +0.09 -2.72 0.66 -2.70 Indonesia -0.20 -5.58 0.02 -18.97 Malaysia +0.02 -1.35 0.70 -4.68 Philippines +0.11 +4.20 1.10 -23.70 S.Korea +0.41 +1.20 0.70 7.29 Singapore +0.01 -0.98 0.55 -20.98 Taiwan +0.82 +4.74 0.88 7.22 Thailand -0.10 -4.20 -1.52 -23.10 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

POLL-Long bets on Taiwan dollar, S.Korean won hit over 2-1/2-year high

15 Oct 2020

* Bullish bets raised on six of nine emerging Asian currencies * Short positions on Indonesian rupiah, Thai baht scaled back By Shashwat Awasthi Oct 15 Long positions on the South Korean won and Taiwan's dollar surged to a more than two-and-a-half year high, a Reuters poll showed, as the export-reliant economies benefited from easing coronavirus lockdowns around the world. Bets in favour of the Chinese yuan rebounded after a sharp pullback earlier this month, while bearish positions on the Thai baht and Indonesian's rupiah were trimmed, the fortnightly poll of 16 respondents showed. Taiwan's dollar, Asia's best performer so far this year as demand for laptops and other gadgets among people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic spurs the tech-heavy economy, saw bullish bets jump to their highest since January 2018. South Korea's won has been propped up by rising exports while the central bank has kept its policy rate at a historic low and reiterated an accommodative monetary stance. While investors were still bearish on Indonesia's rupiah, they trimmed positions from two weeks ago as Bank Indonesia (BI) again held off on cutting interest rates this week, and lawmakers last week passed an "omnibus" bill to improve investment climate and create jobs. Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING, warned in a note this week that though the rupiah has seen some reprieve since the passage of the law, it "remains susceptible to potential weakness given investor anxiety over BI's recent burden sharing agreement with the national government." Investors were also still short on the Thai baht after turning bearish earlier this month as protests against the government and monarchy overshadow efforts to rejuvenate the economy, in particular the key tourism sector. Long bets on Malaysia's ringgit inched higher despite a political tussle that has seen opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim stake his claim to form a new government and call on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign. The Asian currency positioning poll is focused on what analysts and fund managers believe are the current market positions in nine Asian emerging market currencies: the Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian rupiah, Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit and the Thai baht. The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a scale of minus 3 to plus 3. A score of plus 3 indicates the market is significantly long U.S. dollars. The figures include positions held through non-deliverable forwards (NDFs). The survey findings are provided below (positions in U.S. dollar versus each currency): DD/MM CNY KRW SGD IDR TWD INR MYR PHP THB 15/10 -1.07 -0.94 -0.72 0.35 -1.12 -0.44 -0.33 -0.15 0.10 01/10 -0.47 -0.53 -0.25 0.61 -0.68 -0.31 -0.31 -0.68 0.38 17/09 -1.25 -0.60 -0.61 0.39 -0.51 -0.54 -0.89 -1.07 -0.17 03/09 -1.41 -0.71 -0.99 -0.19 -0.40 -0.91 -0.96 -1.34 -0.15 20/08 -1.02 -0.71 -0.69 0.43 -0.31 -0.35 -0.62 -1.12 -0.21 06/08 -0.81 -0.44 -0.57 0.45 -0.54 -0.31 -0.29 -0.76 -0.2 23/07 -0.8 -0.19 -0.09 0.61 -0.34 -0.38 -0.22 -0.61 0.24 09/07 -0.37 -0.06 0.13 0.26 -0.22 -0.33 -0.07 -0.48 -0.09 25/06 0.08 0.16 -0.05 -0.05 -0.28 0.10 0.07 -0.05 -0.24 11/06 0.14 -0.05 -0.19 -0.69 -0.26 0.00 0.08 -0.39 -0.41 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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