July 29, 2020 / 8:27 AM / 6 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Vietnam slides 4% as virus-free bliss fades

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Vietnamese shares hit near 3-year low as cases spike
    * Govt's reliance on public investment brings risks -analyst
    * Philippines reverses from losses as senate passes stimulus

    By Rashmi Ashok
    July 29 (Reuters) - Vietnamese stocks tumbled over 4% on
Wednesday as its prime minister warned the country to brace for
another wave of coronavirus infections after a sudden outbreak
in the coastal city of Danang. 
    Thousands of domestic tourists were vacationing in the city
on discounted travel deals when the outbreak started, and on
Tuesday the government suspended all flights to and from Danang
for 15 days and put it under a 'strict lockdown'.
    State media on Wednesday reported new cases in capital
Hanoi, prompting talks of a lockdown there too, and Prime
Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was quoted as saying that every
province and city in the Southeast Asian country was at risk.

    Shares, which fell on Monday on news of the outbreak,
slid to a near three-month low.
    "Yesterday's rebound was just a technical recovery. I think
the market will see further declines over the coming days as the
coronavirus outbreak has shown signs of spreading," said Tran
Anh Tuan, an analyst with Vietcombank Securities.
    "Vietnam's overall economic performance is not out of the
woods yet and the government's push to rely on public investment
will likely be exposed to risks," Tuan added. 
    The index shed nearly 5% last week and has recorded a
similar drop so far this week already, despite a 3.6% rebound on
    With over 95 million people, Vietnam is the most populous
country in the world to have recorded no deaths from the virus,
and until now no locally transmitted infections had been
reported for months.
    On the upside, Philippine stocks reversed early
losses to close 0.7% higher as news of the passing of a 140
billion peso ($2.85 billion) stimulus package by the Senate
helped offset concerns about a possible tightening of
coronavirus restrictions.
    Market participants were awaiting the outcome of a U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day, where the
central bank is expected to keep rates on hold but signal a
continued dovish stance. 
    Most Asian currencies traded slightly firmer, led by the
Thai baht, as the U.S. dollar hovered around a two-year
low in the midst of mixed corporate earnings, falling U.S.
consumer confidence and a stalled stimulus bill. 
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields were down 1.7 basis
points at 6.83%​​ while 3-year benchmark yields rose 4.3 basis
points at 5.498%​​ 
    ** In the Philippines, top index gainers were Robinsons Land
Corp up 5.96% and First Gen Corp up 5.91%
    ** Iron and stell producer Hoa Phat Group JSC was
the top loser on Vietnam's index, down 20.5%
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at                        
   0728 GMT                                             
                         DAILY       %               S   YTD %
                             %                   DAILY  
 Japan                   +0.12   +3.49           -1.15  -5.32
 China                   -0.00   -0.56            2.06    8.01
 India                   -0.01   -4.62           -0.14   -7.26
 Indonesia               -0.13   -4.27           -0.04  -18.87
 Malaysia                +0.06   -3.71            0.02    1.35
 Philippin               +0.13   +3.13            0.66  -23.66
 S.Korea                 +0.32   -3.08            0.27    2.98
 Singapore               +0.22   -2.28           -0.21  -20.02
 Taiwan                  +0.75   +2.82           -0.36    4.53
 Thailand                +0.06   -4.90           -0.02  -15.14

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok; additional reporting by Khanh Vu in
Hanoi and Pranav AK in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and
Rashmi Aich)
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