Asian FX, stocks climb as Wall St record douses Omicron worries

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Dec 28 (Reuters) - Emerging Asia's stocks and currencies gained on Tuesday as year-end sentiment got a boost from Wall Street's record highs overnight, eclipsing underlying worries over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

India (.NSEI), Taiwan (.TWII) and Indonesia (.JKSE) shares were among the biggest gainers, up between 0.5% and 0.7%, while most Asian currencies advanced around 0.1%, except for the rupiah , which eased 0.1%.

Trading was characterised by holiday-thinned volumes in the last week of 2021 ahead of the New Year.

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Investors appeared to be guardedly optimistic that the global recovery would regain steam next year even though the emergence of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant has prompted border closures and mobility restrictions in most countries once again.

"A rally in most Asia's EM currencies could be attributed to the risk-friendly sentiment," said Gao Qi, FX strategist at Scotiabank.

"Global stock prices advanced overnight as the Omicron variant's impact was considered less severe."

Several reports have indicated that the Omicron variant caused milder symptoms and carried a lower risk of hospitalisation than the Delta strain of the coronavirus. read more

However, China remained a cause for worry after it reported 209 new confirmed coronavirus cases for Dec. 27, up from 200 a day earlier, mostly in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, where Xian, the provincial capital, is in lockdown. read more

Shanghai stocks (.SSEC) slipped 0.2%, while the yuan traded flat.

The Indonesian rupiah weakened 0.1% to 14,237 per dollar for its worst trading day in more than a week.

Scotiabank's Gao attributed the rupiah's fall to a technical correction after it was overbought following around a 1% gain in the past two weeks.

In Malaysia, stocks (.KLSE) were steady after data showed exports for the month of November surged 32% as shipments to the United States continued to grow.

Elsewhere, consumer stocks dominated gains on the Singapore (.STI) and Philippine (.PSI) benchmark indexes, while higher oil prices boosted energy stocks on the Thai bourse (.SETI), up 0.7%.


** Gains on Malaysia's benchmark stock index led by oil-related services and equipment provider Dialog Group (DIAL.KL)

** Top gainers on the Singapore STI (.STI): Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd (DAIR.SI), up 2.9%, and Venture Corp (VENM.SI), up 1.92%

** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 9.4 basis points at 4.413%

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Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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