* Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA * Most Asian FX up against a weaker dollar * Glove makers lead gains in Malaysian stocks By Shriya Ramakrishnan Aug 18 (Reuters) - The Indonesian rupiah bucked gains among Asian currencies in volatile trade on Tuesday as a slump in imports stoked worries of a slow economic recovery, while stock markets across the region tracked gains in the United States and Japan. Currencies across Asia's emerging markets were broadly higher, helped by a weaker U.S. dollar and a tech-fuelled rally on Wall Street overnight. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.6%. The rupiah, however, underperformed, weakening up to 0.8% before paring losses as the current account numbers offered a mix of signals on its economy. The trade surplus in July was the biggest in nine years, but came courtesy of a 33% plunge in imports, far steeper than the 22.48% drop predicted in a Reuters poll. "Although theoretically the huge trade balance surplus should be good for the rupiah, investors seem to be shocked to see such a contraction on imports," said Anthony Kevin, an economist at Mirae Asset Sekuritas. "It points out that our economic recovery would be very gradual." Bank Indonesia is due to wrap up a two-day policy review on Wednesday, with a majority of economists in a Reuters poll expecting it to keep interest rates unchanged after four successive cuts this year to revive the economy. Shares in Jakarta, in contrast to the rupiah, hit a more than five-month high, boosted by gains in the financial and consumer sectors and optimism over a state budget for 2021 that pointed to higher spending for public works. Philippine shares also staged a sharp rebound, rising over 1% after two straight days of declines, as strict curbs in and around the capital Manila eased and data showed a 7.7% rise in June remittances from workers overseas. Malaysian equities registered their first session of gains in three, as investors snapped up beaten-down shares of glove makers after a steep sell-off last week triggered by news of regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine in Russia. "Even if a vaccine is found for COVID-19 tomorrow, there will be a need to wear gloves in a number of situations that didn't exist before," said Gerald Ambrose, Chief Executive Officer of Kuala Lumpur-based Aberdeen Standard Islamic Investments. "Demand will be there but of course capacity is expanding and there will be a peak profit period and peak price but I don't think we are there yet." HIGHLIGHTS: ** Top gainers on the Jakarta stock index include Global Mediacom Tbk PT up 25% at 290 rupiah, Akbar Indo Makmur Stimec Tbk PT up 24.42% at 214 rupiah ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc up 4.35% at 64.7 peso, DMCI Holdings Inc up 4.34% at 3.85 peso ** Top gainers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index include Hartalega Holdings Bhd up 9.25% at 17 ringgit, Top Glove Corporation Bhd up 7.85% at 24.18 ringgit Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0702 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX YTD INDEX STOCKS STOCK DAILY % % DAILY % S YTD % Japan +0.48 +2.97 -0.20 -2.56 China <CNY=CFXS +0.01 +0.46 0.15 12.91 > India +0.10 -4.58 0.54 -7.07 Indonesi -0.54 -6.22 0.83 -16.0 a 0 Malaysia +0.08 -2.32 0.67 -1.11 Philippi +0.08 +4.26 1.44 -21.2 nes 3 S.Korea <KRW=KFTC +0.08 -2.31 -2.46 6.85 > Singapor +0.10 -1.60 -0.38 -20.5 e 1 Taiwan +0.45 +2.43 -0.65 7.29 Thailand +0.13 -3.98 0.27 -16.1 6 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Liz Lee in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Patrick Graham and Arun Koyyur)
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