July 10, 2020 / 4:57 AM / a month ago

EMERGING MARKETS-China pause sends Asia lower as infections rise

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * China shares set for best week since 2015 
    * Philippines on track for worst week since April

    By Nikhil Nainan
    July 10 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks fell almost 1% for a
second day on Friday, leading a wave of losses for Asian stocks
and currencies as an eight-day rally in Chinese markets ground
to a halt and investors worried about the scale of new
coronavirus infections.
    The southeast Asian nation has reported record daily
infection numbers on three of the past six days, and while
Thursday saw no deaths for the first time in four months,
analysts say the prospect of new restrictions to halt the
outbreak is weighing on markets.
    Shares in Manila fell more than 0.8% in early deals,
and the peso, which has proven relatively resilient this
week on the back of gains for other regional currencies, lost
just over 0.1%.
    "The Philippine market has been lagging ... as daily cases
rise," said Jennifer Lomboy, a fixed income fund manager at
First Metro Asset Management. "The rise in reported infections
has crippled business activity ... and continues to cast doubts
on economic recovery."
    In Indonesia, which posted its biggest single-day rise in
cases on Thursday, shares were marginally lower while
the rupiah fell half a percent.
    A Reuters poll on Thursday found bets on the Indonesian
currency had turned bearish for the first time since mid-May on
the prospect of further easing by the central bank which may
dent the appeal of its high-yielding government
bonds.
    Barclays, for example, expects a 25 basis point rate cut by
Bank Indonesia next week in what would be the fourth cut this
year. 
    Markets in Singapore were closed for an election that is
almost certain to be won by the ruling People's Action Party as
the city-state's economy heads for its worst-ever recession.

    The 1% fall in Shanghai's main index, which often
tends to drive markets across Asia, came after Chinese state-run
media on Thursday urged investors stacking up on highly
leveraged bets to be prudent.
    The editorial in the China Securities Journal also pointed
back to the bursting of a stock market bubble in 2015 as the
main indexes headed for an 8.3% gain this week, their best gain
since that time.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Top Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN down 0.1%
ahead of a likely vote by lawmakers on its license renewal - a
widely watched decision for the network that has angered 
President Rodrigo Duterte
    ** Top losers in the Philippines were Bloomberry Resorts
Corp, Robinsons Land Corp and Ayala Land Inc
 
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 1 basis
points at 6.005%
             Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0342 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX          FX       FX       INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %  YTD %             DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.15    +1.48             -0.23    -4.99
 China                    -0.16    -0.58             -1.05    11.95
 India                    +0.00    -4.82             0.00     -11.14
 Indonesia                -0.52    -3.61             -0.02    -19.82
 Malaysia                 -0.23    -4.24             -0.07    -0.42
 Philippines              -0.13    +2.37             -0.84    -21.41
 S.Korea                  -0.59    -3.84             -0.61    -1.96
 Singapore                -0.09    -3.53             -0.63    -17.69
 Taiwan                   +0.39    +2.18             -0.58    1.04
 Thailand                 -0.37    -4.43             -0.52    -13.98
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Lincoln Feast.)
  
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