July 6, 2020 / 5:13 AM / in a month

EMERGING MARKETS-Philippines bucks Asia rally as new infections surge

 (Repeats, no change to text.)
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Surge in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines
    * Malaysian interest rates likely to be cut on Tuesday -

    By Nikhil Nainan
    July 6 (Reuters) - Philippine shares weakened on Monday,
failing to catch a broader regional rally as a surge in new
coronavirus cases in the Southeast Asian country sowed fears of
fresh economic restrictions.
    Stocks and currencies across Asia's emerging and developed
markets were broadly higher, led by a 4% surge for China's main
index that traders said was driven by the easy money
still flooding the global financial system.
    Sunday, however, saw the biggest one-day jump yet in
COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, crossing 2,000 a day for the
first time and sending stocks there down 0.5%.

    The health ministry attributed the increase to more people
coming in contact with one another as some restrictions ease. 
    "The possibility of localised lock downs and likely pullback
in economic activity due to consumers mitigating exposure to the
virus has the mood downbeat in the Philippine equity market,"
said Nicholas Mapa, ING's senior economist for Philippines.
    South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysian stocks
 all rose more than 1% on the back of the gains in
Shanghai, while markets in India, Singapore and
Indonesia also saw gains.
    Investors have turned more bullish on Chinese stocks, with
sizable foreign inflows and massive margin borrowing last week
highlighting hopes among investors of a sustained economic
recovery and confidence in the government's ability to crush any
resurgence in the virus.
    Malaysia's ringgit stuck to a tight range ahead of a
central bank meeting on Tuesday where interest rates may be cut
by 25 basis points to their lowest ever, according to a slim
majority of economists polled by Reuters.
    The yield on Malaysian 10-year bonds opened 2.1
basis points lower before rebounding back to levels close to
Friday's close.             
    Shares were at their highest in nearly a month. 
    Markets in Thailand were closed for a holiday.
    ** First Gen Corp was the top loser in the
Philippines, down 5.8%, followed by Bloomberry Resorts Corp
 and Security Bank Corp 
    ** Top gainers in Malaysia include Top Glove Corp Bhd
 Petronas Gas Bhd  
             Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0404 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX          FX        FX      INDEX    STOCKS    STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %   YTD %            DAILY %   YTD %
 Japan                    -0.17     +0.86            1.42      -4.36
 China                    +0.19     -1.28            4.24      7.75
 India                    0.00      -4.35            0.88      -12.06
 Indonesia                -0.14     -4.08            0.39      -20.74
 Malaysia                 +0.09     -4.48            1.07      -1.22
 Philippines              +0.16     +2.42            -0.49     -18.86
 S.Korea                  +0.17     -3.36            1.68      -0.42
 Singapore                +0.22     -3.38            0.83      -16.99
 Taiwan                   +0.61     +2.30            1.41      0.67
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by
Patrick Graham and Sam Holmes)
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