Edition:
International

Shriya Ramakrishnan

Australian shares end lower as bond yields rise on Powell's remarks

Mar 05 2021

* Energy stocks rise on jump in oil prices (Updates to close)

WRAPUP 9-Small investors behind surge in GameStop and other shares hit by restrictions

Jan 28 2021

Jan 28 An army of retail investors that has routed Wall Street's professionals in recent days was dealt a blow on Thursday, after online brokerages restricted purchases of red-hot GameStop and other stocks that had soared this week.

GameStop stock retreats as Reddit rally runs into trading restrictions

Jan 28 2021

GameStop shares sank early on Thursday as trading platforms including Robinhood and Interactive Brokers restricted trading in the video game retailer along with AMC Entertainment and other stocks that soared this week in a social media-driven trading frenzy that shook stock markets. | Video

WRAPUP 2-"We love this stock": GameStop effect spreads as calls for probe build

Jan 28 2021

Jan 28 The battle between small-time traders and hedge funds that has shaken U.S. and European stock markets moved into Asia on Thursday, with surges in several Australian companies joining a list of social-media hyped moves that have cost financial institutions billions of dollars.

POLL-Long bets cut on most Asia FX; rupee bulls at near 5-month high

Jan 28 2021

* Long positions scaled back on seven of nine Asian currencies * Long bets on S.Korean won, Chinese yuan lowest since Oct 2020 * Bullish bets on Indian rupee highest since Sept 2020 By Shriya Ramakrishnan Jan 28 Investors trimmed bullish bets on most Asian currencies, a Reuters poll showed, as doubts over the course of the U.S. dollar in the near term left markets cautious, while improved growth prospects lifted sentiment towards the Indian rupee. Long positions on the Chinese yuan were cut to the lowest since mid-October 2020, while bullish views on the Singapore dollar and Thai baht were unwound slightly, the fortnightly poll of 16 respondents showed. While analysts expect a broad dollar decline in 2021, risk appetite for Asian currencies has waned as concerns about potential delays in the Biden administration's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal could support the greenback's safe-haven appeal in the short term. "A delay (in stimulus) could keep the USD afloat against Asian currencies... but in the long run, the broader path for the USD remains biased lower for 2021 as loose monetary policy and fiscal stimulus make for an environment that is difficult for the greenback," said Daniel Dubrovsky, a strategist with DailyFX. The responses came in before the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept monetary policy unchanged at near zero as expected, but flagged a slowdown in the pace of the economic recovery. Bullish stakes on the South Korean won were cut to a near four-month low, while those on the Taiwan dollar were scaled back for the second time in a month. Taiwan's dollar has gained nearly 2% so far this year, but the currency's strength has vexed the government, wary of being labelled a currency manipulator by the United States, while it also risks making exports from its trade-reliant economy less competitive. The Indian rupee was the only currency to see an increase in bullish positions, which rose to the highest since early September 2020. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said it expected India's economy to grow 11.5% in 2021, up 2.7 percentage points from the October forecast after a stronger-than-expected recovery in 2020. Traders and analysts are also betting the Indian government would focus on fiscal expansion in its budget next week, which would further help propel the economy out of its slump. "Markets are pricing in a faster recovery from the recent slowdown but not a complete recovery, which is why we expect more reforms from the government will be needed," said Gaurang Somaiya, a forex analyst at Motilal Oswal Financial Services. Bullish bets on Indonesia's rupiah were cut for the fourth time in more than two months, as concerns over the country's rising COVID-19 toll dented sentiment. Indonesia surpassed a million confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday and reported a record daily increase in deaths from the respiratory disease on Wednesday. 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). Date USD/CNY USD/KRW USD/SGD USD/IDR USD/TWD USD/INR USD/MYR USD/PHP USD/THB 28-Jan -1.08 -0.64 -0.79 -0.41 -0.68 -0.55 -0.30 -0.66 -0.36 14-Jan -1.21 -0.87 -0.83 -0.57 -0.89 -0.22 -0.30 -0.80 -0.50 10-Dec -1.53 -1.68 -1.11 -0.61 -1.6 -0.2 -0.53 -0.97 -0.87 26-Nov -1.43 -1.29 -1.01 -0.92 -1.08 -0.3 -0.75 -0.8 -0.66 12-Nov -1.28 -1.52 -0.99 -1.01 -1.08 -0.26 -0.44 -0.67 -0.8 29-Oct -0.86 -1.14 -0.49 0.09 -1.23 -0.07 -0.03 -0.09 -0.02 15-Oct -1.07 -0.94 -0.72 0.35 -1.12 -0.44 -0.33 -0.15 0.1 01-Oct -0.47 -0.53 -0.25 0.61 -0.68 -0.31 -0.31 -0.68 0.38 17-Sep -1.25 -0.6 -0.61 0.39 -0.51 -0.54 -0.89 -1.07 -0.17 03-Sep -1.41 -0.71 -0.99 -0.19 -0.4 -0.91 -0.96 -1.34 -0.15 20-Aug -1.02 -0.71 -0.69 0.43 -0.31 -0.35 -0.62 -1.12 -0.21 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesian shares slide nearly 2% as virus death toll mounts

Jan 22 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Philippine shares set to lose nearly 3% this week * S. Korean shares end three-day winning streak * Most Asia FX set for weekly gains By Shriya Ramakrishnan Jan 22 Indonesian shares were the worst hit among Asia's emerging stock markets on Friday after a record rise in domestic COVID-19 deaths, while the region's currencies took a breather from recent gains as the dollar steadied. Stocks in Jakarta fell nearly 2%, while equities elsewhere in Asia also dipped, taking cues from a pause in a stimulus-driven global market rally. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan was down 0.8% after hitting a record high the previous day. Indonesia reported a record daily increase in coronavirus deaths on Thursday for the second time this week, while its confirmed cases are among the highest in Asia, which has put hospitals in the Southeast Asian nation under serious strain. The rupiah weakened 0.3% against the greenback. "Although President Joko Widodo recently received the very first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the country, it remains to be seen whether the government could fulfil its own timetable for disbursement to the general public," Anthony Kevin, an economist at Mirae Asset Sekuritas wrote in a note. Regional currencies dipped as the dollar index regained some footing after three days of declines. The Malaysian ringgit, South Korean won and Singapore dollar eased between 0.3% to 0.5%. Taiwan's dollar once again stood out with gains of more than 1% against the dollar. "We are constructive on the outlook for Asia FX in 2021 but conservative on the magnitude, with average forecast appreciation of 2-3% for the major currencies vs. USD, partly symptomatic of our view volatility will be lower relative to 2020," BofA analysts wrote in a note. Meanwhile, selling pressure continued in the Philippines, with the benchmark index down 1.3% and on course for its worst week since late November last year. Blue chip consumer and real estate stocks were the biggest drags on the index. Foreigners have sold $70.83 million worth of Philippine equities so far this week as of Thursday's close, its biggest weekly outflow in more than a month, according to Refinitiv data. Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index fell 0.8% after three straight sessions of gains, while Thai shares were down 0.6% as the country's finance minister warned that the economy could grow less this year, than earlier forecast. In the week ahead, focus will turn towards fourth-quarter gross domestic product data from South Korea and the Philippines, where investors will look for signs of an economic recovery in 2021. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Thailand's 3-year benchmark yield is down 1 basis point at 0.5% ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Gihon Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk PT down 6.99% at 1730 rupiah; Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food Tbk PT down 6.98% at 320 rupiah ** In the Philippines, top index losers are PLDT Inc down 3.14% at 1390 pesos; SM Investments Corp down 3% at 1035 pesos Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0708 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY YTD % % Japan -0.18 -0.41 -0.44 4.33 China <CNY=CFXS -0.20 +0.87 -0.42 3.83 > India -0.05 +0.05 -0.63 3.70 Indonesi -0.29 +0.14 -1.89 5.24 a Malaysia -0.30 -0.50 0.49 -1.51 Philippi +0.01 -0.14 -1.32 -1.31 nes S.Korea <KRW=KFTC -0.45 -1.54 -0.64 9.30 > Singapor -0.30 -0.38 -0.78 5.27 e Taiwan +1.41 +1.80 -0.83 8.73 Thailand -0.20 -0.07 -0.63 3.77 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesian shares slide nearly 2% as virus death toll mounts

Jan 22 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Philippine shares set to lose nearly 3% this week * S. Korean shares end three-day winning streak * Most Asia FX set for weekly gains By Shriya Ramakrishnan Jan 22 Indonesian shares were the worst hit among Asia's emerging stock markets on Friday after a record rise in domestic COVID-19 deaths, while the region's currencies took a breather from recent gains as the dollar steadied. Stocks in Jakarta fell nearly 2%, while equities elsewhere in Asia also dipped, taking cues from a pause in a stimulus-driven global market rally. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan was down 0.8% after hitting a record high the previous day. Indonesia reported a record daily increase in coronavirus deaths on Thursday for the second time this week, while its confirmed cases are among the highest in Asia, which has put hospitals in the Southeast Asian nation under serious strain. The rupiah weakened 0.3% against the greenback. "Although President Joko Widodo recently received the very first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the country, it remains to be seen whether the government could fulfil its own timetable for disbursement to the general public," Anthony Kevin, an economist at Mirae Asset Sekuritas wrote in a note. Regional currencies dipped as the dollar index regained some footing after three days of declines. The Malaysian ringgit, South Korean won and Singapore dollar eased between 0.3% to 0.5%. Taiwan's dollar once again stood out with gains of more than 1% against the dollar. "We are constructive on the outlook for Asia FX in 2021 but conservative on the magnitude, with average forecast appreciation of 2-3% for the major currencies vs. USD, partly symptomatic of our view volatility will be lower relative to 2020," BofA analysts wrote in a note. Meanwhile, selling pressure continued in the Philippines, with the benchmark index down 1.3% and on course for its worst week since late November last year. Blue chip consumer and real estate stocks were the biggest drags on the index. Foreigners have sold $70.83 million worth of Philippine equities so far this week as of Thursday's close, its biggest weekly outflow in more than a month, according to Refinitiv data. Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index fell 0.8% after three straight sessions of gains, while Thai shares were down 0.6% as the country's finance minister warned that the economy could grow less this year, than earlier forecast. In the week ahead, focus will turn towards fourth-quarter gross domestic product data from South Korea and the Philippines, where investors will look for signs of an economic recovery in 2021. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Thailand's 3-year benchmark yield is down 1 basis point at 0.5% ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Gihon Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk PT down 6.99% at 1730 rupiah; Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food Tbk PT down 6.98% at 320 rupiah ** In the Philippines, top index losers are PLDT Inc down 3.14% at 1390 pesos; SM Investments Corp down 3% at 1035 pesos Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0708 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY YTD % % Japan -0.18 -0.41 -0.44 4.33 China <CNY=CFXS -0.20 +0.87 -0.42 3.83 > India -0.05 +0.05 -0.63 3.70 Indonesi -0.29 +0.14 -1.89 5.24 a Malaysia -0.30 -0.50 0.49 -1.51 Philippi +0.01 -0.14 -1.32 -1.31 nes S.Korea <KRW=KFTC -0.45 -1.54 -0.64 9.30 > Singapor -0.30 -0.38 -0.78 5.27 e Taiwan +1.41 +1.80 -0.83 8.73 Thailand -0.20 -0.07 -0.63 3.77 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

EMERGING MARKETS-Rising virus deaths hit Indonesian shares; currencies dip

Jan 22 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Taiwan dollar advances for a fourth straight day * Indonesia reports daily record COVID-19 deaths * Philippine stocks set to lose about 3% this week By Shriya Ramakrishnan Jan 22 Indonesian shares fell more than 1% on Friday after the country reported a record jump in COVID-19 deaths for the second time this week, while a steady dollar put a brake on recent rises in Asian currencies. The record fatalities and sharp rise in daily cases in recent weeks have put Indonesia's hospitals under serious strain, even as the country began a mass vaccination campaign earlier this month. Shares in Jakarta slipped 1.5%, and the rupiah dipped 0.2%. The country's central bank kept key policy rates unchanged on Thursday, but vowed to direct all instruments toward supporting growth. "The risk is that with more governments in the region (Asia) procuring vaccine deals, the hopes of mass immunisation run ahead of the reality resulting in a pre-emptive move back to pre-COVID normality and a further deterioration in the pandemic situation," analysts at Mizuho Bank wrote in a note. Most emerging Asian currencies weakened as the dollar index picked up steam after three days of declines, as optimism about more pandemic relief in the United States under the Biden administration drove up demand for riskier assets. The South Korean won weakened 0.4% against the greenback, and the Malaysian ringgit and Singapore dollar each traded 0.2% lower. Philippine shares also sank more than 1% on a continued sell-off led by foreign investors, with almost all sectors in the red. The benchmark index was headed for a sixth straight day of losses and a near 3% drop for the week. "Week-to-date, foreign stock investment declined about $70.86 million.. that is the most in over one month," said Daniel Dubrovsky, a strategist at trading firm DailyFX. "I think some of the pessimism had to do with the government's preference for a Chinese vaccine which has a lower efficacy rate compared to others." Stocks in Thailand shed half a percent and the baht gave up 0.2% as the country's finance minister warned the economy could grow less than earlier forecast this year, following its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet. Taiwan's dollar extended its winning streak to a fourth consecutive session, strengthening more than 1% against the dollar. Taiwan's central bank said on Thursday it would punish four unnamed foreign banks for helping grains firms speculate in the deliverable forwards foreign exchange market, as it moved to slow the Taiwan dollar's rise. The currency's strength risks making manufacturing exports less competitive. The Taiwan dollar is up nearly 2% this year following a 5.3% gain in 2020. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 1 basis points at 6.301% ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Gihon Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk PT down 6.99% at 1730 rupiah; Sumber Global Energy Tbk PT down 6.95% at 870 rupiah ** In the Philippines, top index losers are PLDT Inc down 3.14% at 1390 pesos; SM Investments Corp down 3% at 1035 pesos Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0458 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY YTD % % Japan -0.09 -0.32 -0.29 4.48 China <CNY=CFXS -0.13 +0.93 -0.73 3.51 > India -0.04 +0.07 0.05 4.40 Indonesia -0.21 +0.21 -1.50 5.67 Malaysia -0.15 -0.35 0.50 -1.51 Philippin +0.04 -0.10 -1.47 -1.47 es S.Korea <KRW=KFTC -0.41 -1.50 0.08 10.09 > Singapore -0.19 -0.27 -0.73 5.32 Taiwan +1.46 +1.85 -0.49 9.11 Thailand -0.17 -0.03 -0.53 3.87 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

EMERGING MARKETS-Rising virus deaths hit Indonesian shares; currencies dip

Jan 22 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Taiwan dollar advances for a fourth straight day * Indonesia reports daily record COVID-19 deaths * Philippine stocks set to lose about 3% this week By Shriya Ramakrishnan Jan 22 Indonesian shares fell more than 1% on Friday after the country reported a record jump in COVID-19 deaths for the second time this week, while a steady dollar put a brake on recent rises in Asian currencies. The record fatalities and sharp rise in daily cases in recent weeks have put Indonesia's hospitals under serious strain, even as the country began a mass vaccination campaign earlier this month. Shares in Jakarta slipped 1.5%, and the rupiah dipped 0.2%. The country's central bank kept key policy rates unchanged on Thursday, but vowed to direct all instruments toward supporting growth. "The risk is that with more governments in the region (Asia) procuring vaccine deals, the hopes of mass immunisation run ahead of the reality resulting in a pre-emptive move back to pre-COVID normality and a further deterioration in the pandemic situation," analysts at Mizuho Bank wrote in a note. Most emerging Asian currencies weakened as the dollar index picked up steam after three days of declines, as optimism about more pandemic relief in the United States under the Biden administration drove up demand for riskier assets. The South Korean won weakened 0.4% against the greenback, and the Malaysian ringgit and Singapore dollar each traded 0.2% lower. Philippine shares also sank more than 1% on a continued sell-off led by foreign investors, with almost all sectors in the red. The benchmark index was headed for a sixth straight day of losses and a near 3% drop for the week. "Week-to-date, foreign stock investment declined about $70.86 million.. that is the most in over one month," said Daniel Dubrovsky, a strategist at trading firm DailyFX. "I think some of the pessimism had to do with the government's preference for a Chinese vaccine which has a lower efficacy rate compared to others." Stocks in Thailand shed half a percent and the baht gave up 0.2% as the country's finance minister warned the economy could grow less than earlier forecast this year, following its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet. Taiwan's dollar extended its winning streak to a fourth consecutive session, strengthening more than 1% against the dollar. Taiwan's central bank said on Thursday it would punish four unnamed foreign banks for helping grains firms speculate in the deliverable forwards foreign exchange market, as it moved to slow the Taiwan dollar's rise. The currency's strength risks making manufacturing exports less competitive. The Taiwan dollar is up nearly 2% this year following a 5.3% gain in 2020. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 1 basis points at 6.301% ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Gihon Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk PT down 6.99% at 1730 rupiah; Sumber Global Energy Tbk PT down 6.95% at 870 rupiah ** In the Philippines, top index losers are PLDT Inc down 3.14% at 1390 pesos; SM Investments Corp down 3% at 1035 pesos Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0458 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY YTD % % Japan -0.09 -0.32 -0.29 4.48 China <CNY=CFXS -0.13 +0.93 -0.73 3.51 > India -0.04 +0.07 0.05 4.40 Indonesia -0.21 +0.21 -1.50 5.67 Malaysia -0.15 -0.35 0.50 -1.51 Philippin +0.04 -0.10 -1.47 -1.47 es S.Korea <KRW=KFTC -0.41 -1.50 0.08 10.09 > Singapore -0.19 -0.27 -0.73 5.32 Taiwan +1.46 +1.85 -0.49 9.11 Thailand -0.17 -0.03 -0.53 3.87 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

EMERGING MARKETS-Rupiah up, shares down as Bank Indonesia stands pat

Jan 21 2021

* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Asian stocks https://tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Bank Indonesia leaves key rate unchanged at 3.75% * Taiwanese shares close at a record high * S. Korean stocks extend gains to a third day By Shriya Ramakrishnan Jan 21 Indonesia's rupiah edged higher and shares fell after the country's central bank left interest rates unchanged, while South Korean and Taiwanese shares surged on strong export readings from both the tech-reliant economies. Bank Indonesia (BI), which had cut borrowing costs five times last year to support a pandemic-hit economy, left its key policy rate at a record low of 3.75% and said the rupiah was still undervalued and had room to strengthen. A majority of analysts in a Reuters poll had expected the central bank to keep rates steady to maintain an attractive interest rate differential on its high-yielding debt, given the recent rise in U.S. bond yields. "The string of rate reductions in 2020 have yet to bear fruit," said Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING. "We believe BI will remain open to easing policy further in the near-term should inflation remain subdued with IDR stability likely the main decision point." The rupiah was up 0.3% after the decision, while shares in Jakarta traded 0.3% lower. Most other emerging Asian stock markets and currencies strengthened as optimism about the new U.S. administration's hefty spending plans drove buying of riskier assets and dented the dollar's safe-haven appeal. The Malaysian ringgit and South Korean won advanced 0.3% and 0.2% each against the greenback. South Korean shares extended gains to a third straight session, while Taiwanese stocks closed up more than 2% at an all-time high. Data showed South Korea's exports expanded at a much faster pace in the first 20 days of January, and Taiwan's export orders hit a record high in 2020. South Korea and Taiwan have witnessed a strong rebound in exports as the pandemic-driven global shift to remote work spurred demand for memory chips used in laptops and servers. The KOSPI and Taiwan stocks have risen more than 9% each this month. "If global fiscal stimulus and the contact-free digitalisation trend continues post-COVID, Korea's IT, semiconductor and auto exports could outperform market expectations," analysts at Standard Chartered wrote in a note. Indian shares jumped to a record high and the benchmark Sensex scaled the 50,000 level for the first time, boosted by heavyweight Reliance Industries after the country's stock exchanges approved a $3.4 billion deal with the Future Group. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 2.3 basis points at 6.298% ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd up 2.67% at S$57.71, Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd up 2.39% at S$23.09 ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Duta Intidaya Tbk PT down 6.99% at 346 rupiah; Sumber Global Energy Tbk PT down 6.97% at 935 rupiah Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0818 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY YTD % % Japan +0.00 -0.27 0.82 4.78 China -0.02 +0.99 1.07 4.27 India +0.10 +0.14 0.67 5.45 Indonesi +0.29 +0.43 -0.25 7.27 a Malaysia +0.29 -0.29 -0.39 -1.96 Philippi -0.01 -0.09 -0.04 0.01 nes S.Korea +0.19 -1.09 1.49 10.00 Singapor +0.00 -0.27 0.51 5.99 e Taiwan +0.15 +0.39 2.20 9.65 Thailand +0.10 +0.03 0.00 4.58 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

World News

Netanyahu out, Bennett in as Israel marks end of an era

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Benjamin Netanyahu's record 12-year run as Israel's prime minister ended on Sunday with parliament approving a new "government of change" led by nationalist Naftali Bennett, an improbable scenario few Israelis could have imagined.