July 15, 2020 / 8:21 AM / 20 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares sink as traders eye new virus curbs

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Philippine stocks hit over 1-month low
    * Indian, Singapore shares gain the most 

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    July 15 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks sold off heavily on
Wednesday, with traders weighing the possibility of further
restrictions related to the novel coronavirus as hospitals come
under pressure from surging infections.
    Manila's main index fell more than 2.5% to a more
than one-month low and is now down 23% so far this year,
underperforming its peers across Asia.
    It was a mixed morning for the remaining Asian markets, as
tensions with the United States weighed on China, while India,
Singapore and South Korea all gained.
    In currency markets, the Indonesian rupiah was the
worst performer, weakening over 1% against the greenback as
investors priced in prospects of a fourth interest rate cut by
the central bank on Thursday.
    A slim majority of analysts polled by Reuters expect Bank
Indonesia to cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 4.00%.

    A bond auction on Tuesday was also oversubscribed,
indicating investor willingness to buy the country's
high-yielding debt despite recent rate cuts and a fall in the
value of the rupiah.
    Even as Philippines on Wednesday reported the lowest daily
increase in virus cases in nearly two weeks, officials warned of
more fatalities ahead and said critical care facilities in
several hospitals had reached maximum capacity.
    COVID-19 infections have more than tripled since June 1 when
restrictions started to ease and local media speculated
President Rodrigo Duterte would announce new community
quarantine classifications for cities later in the day.
    "An extension of partial lockdown measures will hurt the
earnings outlook for listed companies with the economy in the
midst of a recession," said Nicholas Mapa, ING's senior
economist for the Philippines.
    Indian shares were the top performers, advancing
about 1.6%, while strength in banking and real estate stocks
helped Singapore shares rebound a day after data pointed
to a record contraction in the economy for the second quarter. 
    "The Singapore stock market has long been underperforming
the U.S. and rest of Asia this year, and retail investors are
probably eyeing bargain hunting opportunities," said Margaret
Yang, a strategist with DailyFX.
    "The lack of substantial trading volume, however, suggests
that institutional capital is not returning to the Singapore
market yet." 
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include SATS Ltd
 up 4.38% at S$2.86, Comfortdelgro Corp Ltd
up 2.74% at S$1.5, Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd up ​
2.44% at S$20.55
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Bloomberry
Resorts Corp down 12.61% at 6.65 peso; Metro Pacific
Investments Corp down 5.65% at 3.17 peso
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are up 2.7 basis
points at 5.896%
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                       
 currencies at   0711 GMT                              
 COUNTRY   FX RIC         FX  FX YTD    INDEX  STOCKS    STOCKS
                     DAILY %       %            DAILY     YTD %
                                                    %  
 Japan                 +0.08   +1.37             1.59     -3.01
 China     <CNY=CFX    +0.09   -0.54            -1.55     10.21
           S>                                          
 India                 +0.11   -5.25             1.58    -11.46
 Indonesi              -1.41   -4.80            -0.04    -19.41
 a                                                     
 Malaysia              +0.14   -4.06            -0.19      0.44
 Philippi              -0.10   +2.39            -2.53    -23.02
 nes                                                   
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFT    +0.43   -3.67             0.84      0.19
           C>                                          
 Singapor              +0.09   -3.32             1.07    -17.83
 e                                                     
 Taiwan                +0.51   +2.25            -0.05      1.71
 Thailand              +0.16   -5.11             0.68    -14.54
 
 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Patrick Graham and Shounak Dasgupta)
  
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