June 29, 2020 / 8:23 AM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks falter on virus surge, Indonesian rupiah slips

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Rupiah weakens 0.4%, stocks down 0.5%
    * Malaysian stocks slip after May exports post sharp fall

    By Rashmi Ashok
    June 29 (Reuters) - Asian stocks fell on Monday as a spike
in coronavirus cases worldwide dented hopes of a quick economic
recovery, but a retreat in the dollar afforded most regional
currencies a breather.
    The dollar was 0.2% off a one-week high hit on Friday,
allowing the Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit
and South Korean won to trade marginally higher. The
Taiwan dollar firmed as much as 0.6%.
    While safe-haven demand for the dollar stalled in Asian
trading, lingering worries about the pandemic and its impact
kept investors on edge.
    Various U.S. states back-pedalled on plans to reopen
economies due to a jump in cases, but a number of countries in
Asia and Europe pushed ahead with plans to ease restrictions
despite a growing number of cases.
    The Indonesian rupiah was the lone loser in Asia. It
fell 0.4% after the country's finance minister said the
government may sell more bonds, including some that would carry
zero yield, to the central bank via private placement to finance
its COVID-19 response.
    That was a change from last week, when Finance Minister Sri
Mulyani Indrawati said the government would not ask the central
bank to buy bonds with zero yield and surprised market
    Economists worried about the inflationary impact of Bank
Indonesia buying bonds that yield nothing, while investors are
concerned about the pressure on the central bank to further
slash rates, thus eroding the appeal of one of Asia's
high-yielding markets.
    Yields on Indonesia's 10-year bonds rose 5.4
basis points to 7.25%, their highest since June 15. 
    Elsewhere, Malaysian stocks traded 0.6% weaker after
data showed the country's exports plunged 25.5% in May from a
year earlier, its worst performance in more than a decade.

    Philippine stocks recovered from steeper declines to
trade 1.4% lower. Real estate heavyweight Megaworld Corp
 slipped nearly 4% after reporting an 8% drop in
first-quarter income.
    ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include Betonjaya
Manunggal Tbk PT and Satria Mega Kencana Tbk PT
 down 7% each
    ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield was down 0.8 basis
points at 0.918%​​ 

  Asia stock indexes and                                   
 currencies at   0800 GMT                            
                     DAILY        %               S   YTD %
                         %                    DAILY  
 Japan               +0.03    +1.33           -2.30   -7.02
 China    <CNY=CFX   +0.00    -1.62           -0.61   -2.91
 India               +0.08    -5.56           -1.01  -15.53
 Indones             -0.14    -2.05           -0.05  -22.19
 Malaysi             +0.16    -4.51           -0.09   -6.42
 Philipp             +0.14    +1.58           -1.40  -21.88
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   +0.17    -3.52           -1.93   -4.74
 Singapo             +0.03    -3.45           -1.08  -20.06
 Taiwan              +0.05    +1.62           -1.01   -3.79
 Thailan             +0.10    -3.14           -0.74  -16.41

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj
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