Asian FX, stocks under pressure from virus surge; Taiwan shares shed 2%

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Taiwan shares slumped 2%, guided by falls

in tech stocks on Wall Street overnight, and led losses among

Asian equities on Tuesday as the region continued to reel from

rapidly climbing COVID-19 cases.

A raft of manufacturing data in emerging Asia this week

pointed to a slower pace of economic recovery, with investors

further worried by the modest vaccination rate in the face of an

explosion in coronavirus cases and a creaky healthcare system.

In a divergence from world’s developed markets which are

faring better than Asia as their economies slowly reopen, Asian

equities in South Korea, Philippine and Indonesia

eased between 0.2% to 0.3%.

Holidays in major financial markets of China and Japan

dampened investor activity generally.

“Sentiment across Asia remains subdued as new COVID-19 waves

are hitting India and some Southeast Asian countries,

threatening millions of lives and an economic recovery in the

region,” said DailyFX strategist Margaret Yang.

“New COVID-19 strains appear to be more contagious and

deadly, rendering developing countries more vulnerable due to a

lack of vaccines and healthcare resources.”

India’s official tally of coronavirus infections surged past

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20 million and its shares fell 0.3%.

Taiwan’s bourse saw its worst day in over

eight-months as it tracked an overnight drop in U.S. tech

stocks, compounded by fears over a recent uptick in domestic

COVID-19 infections linked to China Airlines.

Singapore shares extended losses, while the local

dollar eased 0.3% after the latest COVID-19 cluster over

the weekend sparked concern.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah edged up 0.2% a day

before first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data was due.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy is expected to have contraction

0.74% for the period.

Thailand’s financial markets were shut due to a holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up

0.3 basis points at 6.484%

** S. Korean won recovers slightly from previous

session’s 1% drop

** Top losers on the Singapore STI include:

Capitaland Ltd down 2.5% and Jardine Matheson Holdings

Ltd down 1.2%

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0428 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS STOCKS

% DAILY % YTD %

Japan -0.18 -5.51 0.00 4.99

India 0.00 -1.15 -0.01 4.66

Indonesia +0.20 -2.61 -0.33 -0.77

Malaysia -0.17 -2.19 0.37 -1.88

Philippines -0.11 -0.09 -0.15 -10.93

S.Korea +0.29 -3.08 -0.24 8.56

Singapore -0.19 -0.82 -0.18 11.79

Taiwan +0.20 +2.01 -1.82 14.77

(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon

Cameron-Moore)