June 15, 2020 / 5:22 AM / 22 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks hit by second wave worry, Philippines down 4%

    * Philippine shares poised for worst day since mid-April
    * Overseas remittances to Philippines in March fall 
    * Singapore, Malaysia shares down more than 1%
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA

    By Nikhil Nainan
    June 15 (Reuters) - Philippine shares were the hardest hit
on Monday, as fears over a second wave of coronavirus infections
hurt risk sentiment and depressed Asian stock and currency
    The Philippine stock index plunged nearly 4% and was
headed for its worst day since mid-April as the country reopened
after a long weekend and caught up with the volatility in global
stock markets. 
    The Philippines reported hundreds of new coronavirus
infections on the weekend, just days after lockdown restrictions
were eased. China also reported its second
consecutive day of record new numbers of cases, raising worries
about a resurgence of the disease, although stock
markets on the mainland appeared unperturbed.
    U.S. stocks ended Friday marking their worst week since
March after the Federal Reserve's indication of a long road to
recovery and rising infections in the United States hurt
investor optimism.
    Singapore stocks and Malaysia's fell more
than 1% each. Among currencies, the South Korean won
was the region's worst performer.
    Analysts said Philippine markets were also worried about
data showing overseas remittances, a large source of dollar
flows for the economy, in March fell 4.7% from a year earlier,
highlighting the adverse impact of the virus on Filipinos living
abroad. The peso was flat having weakened about 0.1%
against the dollar earlier. 
    "Slowing remittance flows is one of the main reasons we
expect current account woes to return to the Philippines, which
should put added depreciation pressure on the peso in the coming
months and slow the economic recovery with remittance-fuelled
consumption absent," analysts at ING wrote in a note.
    Bloomberry Resorts Corp led the declines in the
Philippines, falling 5.57% followed by Aboitiz Equity Ventures
Inc and JG Summit Holdings Inc.
    Analysts at Morgan Stanley said the risks of a second wave
lay in India, Indonesia and the Philippines but that they
expected the resurgence of the disease to be more manageable
than the first wave, given earlier policy experience. 
    Indonesian shares were flat, even as it reported
hundreds of new cases. The rupiah was
marginally higher against the dollar although its high-yielding
bonds fell ahead of a central bank meeting on
Thursday at which policy rates could be cut. 
    Meanwhile, data on Monday showed China's industrial output
missed expectations, while retail sales fell a
larger-than-expected 2.8% in a sign of weak domestic demand.
              Change on the day at   0444 GMT
                       %                DAILY %      YTD %
 Japan             +0.29     +1.48        -1.19      -6.83
 China             -0.01     -1.75        -0.01      -4.28
 India             -0.14     -6.02        -0.94     -18.81
 Indonesia         +0.14     -1.07        -0.06     -22.58
 Malaysia          -0.02     -4.22        -1.98      -4.61
 Philippines        0.00     +0.80        -3.69     -20.19
 S.Korea           -0.46     -4.38        -0.95      -3.90
 Singapore         -0.13     -3.54        -1.47     -17.92
 Taiwan            +0.31     +1.47        -0.28      -5.00
 Thailand          +0.03     -3.36        -0.96     -13.32
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)
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