July 17, 2020 / 8:07 AM / 25 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares falter as COVID-19 cases surge

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Malaysian stocks gain over 1% as Top Glove rallies
    * Philippine stocks set for weekly decline of over 2%
    * Indonesian rupiah hits near two-month low

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    July 17 (Reuters) - Philippine shares were set for a second
straight weekly drop on Friday following a surge in COVID-19
cases in the country, while the Indonesian rupiah weakened as
uncertainty over future monetary policy dented investor
sentiment.
    After a bout of bargain buying on Thursday, the Manila
benchmark index resumed declines to fall nearly 1%, as
the country reported its biggest daily spike in coronavirus
infections in more than a week.
    President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday retained partial
quarantine measures in the capital of Manila for two weeks until
the end of July, but warned that stricter curbs would be
reinstated if the rise in new cases and deaths did not slow. 
    Foreign investors dumped Philippine shares worth $64.7
million as of Thursday, after a $114.9 million sell-off last
week, according to exchange data. 
    Among Asian currencies, the rupiah was the worst hit,
falling to a near two-month low, a day after the central bank
cut interest rates for the fourth time this year. 
    Shares in Jakarta were down about 0.3%. 
    After reducing its benchmark interest rate to 4%, Bank
Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo said there would be no
inflationary impact from a bond-buying scheme announced earlier
this month, while stressing the importance of both fiscal and
monetary levers to revive growth.
    Some analysts said that pointed to more cuts in rates. 
    "While the burden sharing scheme could benefit Indonesia's
economy, there is fear that the central government wouldn't be
able to realise its planned spending," said Anthony Kevin, an
economist at Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia.
    "This is why market participants were also looking for clues
regarding the possibility of another rate cut."
    Malaysian stocks were the top performers, advancing
over 1%, driven primarily by gains in Top Glove Corp,
the world's largest medical glove maker, which rose 16%.
    U.S. Customs on Wednesday placed a detention order on
imports of products made by the company's units, but the company
said it hoped to resolve the issue in two weeks and the surge in
global demand meant it would be able to sell its product
elsewhere.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Top gainers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index
include Top Glove Corporation Bhd up 15.53% at 22.76
ringgit, Hartalega Holdings Bhd up 5.9% at 16.52
ringgit, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd up​ 2.32% at 8.83
ringgit
    ** In the Philippines, top index decliners are SM Prime
Holdings Inc down 4.59% at 31.2 peso; Ayala Land Inc
 down 3.65% at 31.7 peso; and Metro Pacific Investments
Corp down 2.1% at 3.26 peso
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 1.4 basis
points at 7.057%
  Asia stock indexes and                                      
 currencies at 0659 GMT                                 
 COUNTRY   FX RIC          FX  FX YTD    INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                      DAILY %       %            DAILY   YTD %
                                                     %  
 Japan                  +0.07   +1.32            -0.32   -4.06
 China     <CNY=CFXS    -0.14   -0.51            -0.11    5.13
           >                                            
 India                  +0.13   -4.94             0.67  -11.15
 Indonesi               -0.61   -5.26            -0.34  -19.34
 a                                                      
 Malaysia               -0.05   -4.19             1.16    0.17
 Philippi               +0.24   +2.53            -0.96  -22.09
 nes                                                    
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFTC    +0.04   -4.04             0.80    0.16
           >                                            
 Singapor               +0.04   -3.39            -0.10  -18.67
 e                                                      
 Taiwan                 +0.37   +2.10             0.20    1.54
 Thailand               -0.09   -5.59             0.32  -14.41
 
 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan and Gaurav Dogra in
Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham, Bernard Orr)
  
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