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EMERGING MARKETS-Malaysia suffers after COVID-19 outbreak hits rubber glove maker

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Slump in Top Glove weighs on Malaysian stocks
    * Thai police to deploy thousands for royal protest
    * J.P. Morgan upgrades Singapore, Thai, Indonesian equities

    By Shruti Sonal
    Nov 24 (Reuters) - Stock markets in Malaysia declined 1% on
Tuesday, weighed down by losses for the world's top latex glove
maker Top Glove, after more than 2,000 of its workforce tested
positive for COVID-19.
    In a mixed morning on Asian exchanges, Singapore and
Indonesian stocks rose about 1% to their highest since
early March, while both Thai and Philippine
markets lost ground. 
    Political tensions continued to simmer in Bangkok, with Thai
police saying they would deploy nearly 6,000 officers for a
demonstration by protesters demanding that King Maha
Vajiralongkorn give up personal control of the assets.

    The Malaysian benchmark was hit by a 7.5% slump for
Top Glove as the government said it was closing 28
factory buildings due to a surge in people testing positive in
the area where the plants and dormitories are located.

    Analysts said the heavy weighting of the rubber industry and
glove manufacturers, "none of which are likely to outperform in
a post-COVID world", also dragged down the index as results of
vaccine tests hinted at a road out of the pandemic globally.
    Palm oil stocks were also down, tracking a decline in
Malaysian palm oil futures, with the world's largest palm oil
planter by land size, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd,
falling 1.4%.
    Philippine stocks declined 1% as investors took some profit
after rallying in recent sessions due to a 25 basis point cut in
interest rates and broader optimism around the prospects for a
global recovery.
    "PSEi has gained a lot in the last (few) days and it seems
players were ready to collect," said Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion,
chief economist at Union Bank of the Philippines. 
    Elsewhere, news that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden was
given the go-ahead to begin his White House transition spurred
more optimism around trade and growth-reliant markets.

    J.P. Morgan analysts upgraded Thailand, Indonesia and
Singapore equities to "overweight", adding that a vaccine and
new U.S. fiscal easing would boost growth forecasts for the
broader ASEAN market starting from the second quarter of fiscal
2021. 
    "A Biden victory potentially reduces the geopolitical risk
premium on EM equities. Further, a potentially weaker dollar and
strong ASEAN FX could benefit the performance of equities in the
region," they said.        

  Asia stock indexes and                            
 currencies at   0819 GMT                      
 COUNTRY  FX RIC       FX     FX  INDE  STOCK  STOCK
                    DAILY  YTD %     X      S  S YTD
                        %               DAILY      %
                                            %  
 Japan              +0.25  +4.15  <.N2   2.50  10.61
                                  25>          
 China    <CNY=CFX  +0.15  +5.90  <.SS  -0.34  11.56
          S>                      EC>          
 India              +0.12  -3.55  <.NS   0.88   7.16
                                  EI>          
 Indones            -0.07  -1.84  <.JK   0.85  -9.50
 ia                               SE>          
 Malaysi            +0.00  +0.02  <.KL  -0.99  -0.45
 a                                SE>          
 Philipp            +0.27  +5.24  <.PS  -0.97  -9.04
 ines                             I>           
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT  -0.21  +3.93  <.KS   0.58  19.12
          C>                      11>          
 Singapo            +0.07  +0.14  <.ST   0.97  -10.7
 re                               I>               5
 Taiwan             -0.10  +4.42  <.TW  -0.51  15.09
                                  II>          
 Thailan            -0.20  -1.38  <.SE  -0.90  -10.9
 d                                TI>              0
 


 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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