June 15, 2020 / 10:32 AM / 22 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Fears of second virus wave rattle Asia, Philippine stocks fall 5%

    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Philippine shares suffer worst day in 2 months
    * Malaysia, Thai shares plunge 3%, Singapore down 2.6%
    * S.Korean won weakens 1% 

    By Nikhil Nainan
    June 15 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell
sharply, led by the Philippines, and risk sentiment for
currencies took a hit on Monday on fears that a second wave of
coronavirus infections could deepen the economic rout.
    The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region, with
Beijing reporting a second consecutive day of record numbers of
infections, have dented hopes of a swift V-shaped recovery as
countries emerge from strict lockdowns.
    Philippine shares suffered their worst day in two
months, ending nearly 5% lower, as the country emerged from a
long weekend to growing risk-aversion in global markets. The
sell-off was made worse by traders catching up to U.S. market
losses last week, analysts said.
    Stock markets in most neighbouring countries fell around 3%,
while South Korea's won was the worst performer in
the region as the dollar gained. 
    "Markets have ignored the number of new cases and rallied
until now because everyone jumped on the economic recovery
bandwagon," said Masaru Ishibashi, joint general manager of
trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Tokyo.
    "Now positions are so long that people are more likely to
react to negative news, like what is happening in Beijing." 
    Also posing a worry for the Philippines was data showing a
4.7% fall in overseas remittances in March compared with a year
earlier, highlighting the impact of the virus on Filipinos
living abroad.
    Analysts at ING expect the peso to come under pressure in
the coming months as current account woes return due to the
slowing remittance flows, which are expected to hurt domestic
consumption.
    The peso weakened about 0.2% against the dollar.
    In Indonesia, the rupiah was unchanged even as calls
for an interest rate cut grew after exports and imports plunged
the most in more than a decade in May. The stock market,
which was marginally in positive territory earlier in the day,
fell 1.3%.
    The country's central bank will meet on Thursday to decide
its policy as part of their monthly meeting. 
    A further signal that the road to recovery is going to be
long came from data that 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   0951 GMT    
 COUNTRY      FX DAILY %  FX YTD %  STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD %
 Japan        +0.02       +1.20     -3.47           -8.99
 China        -0.14       -1.86     -1.02           -5.25
 India        -0.24       -6.10     -1.58           -19.33
 Indonesia    0.00        -1.21     -1.31           -23.54
 Malaysia     -0.12       -4.31     -3.05           -5.66
 Philippines  -0.16       +0.63     -4.82           -21.13
 S.Korea      -1.00       -4.90     -4.76           -7.59
 Singapore    -0.22       -3.63     -2.64           -18.89
 Taiwan       -0.03       +1.13     -1.08           -5.76
 Thailand     -0.51       -3.89     -2.93           -15.06
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru, Additional
reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Arun Koyyur)
  
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