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Indonesian, Philippine stocks buoyed by easing of COVID-19 lockdowns

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Easing COVID-19 restrictions helped

stocks in Indonesia and Philippines rise on Tuesday, while

emerging Asian currencies lacked direction ahead of U.S.

inflation data due later in the day which will give clues on the

Fed’s tapering plans.

Indonesian equities and the rupiah surged after the

country eased pandemic induced curbs in its popular tourist

island of Bali, though international travelers would face

stricter protocols on arrival to help curb the spread of new

variants.

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Philippine authorities said the country’s capital region

would shift to localized lockdowns and an alert level system

starting September 16, a move that would allow more businesses

to resume operations.

That sent the country’s benchmark stock index up 0.7%

to its highest level in more than 3 months. The peso, on the

other hand, weakened 0.1%.

“(The easing of lockdowns) would allow economic activity to

return in some areas deemed to have a lower risk rating,” said

Nicholas Mapa, Senior Economist at ING.

Mapa expected gains to be capped, however, as most market

participants keep a close eye on the number of daily infections.

The Philippines had posted record daily new cases on Sept. 11.

Currencies elsewhere were mostly flat on Tuesday ahead of

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the key U.S. CPI data, which will give a broad picture of the

country’s economic recovery ahead of the Federal Reserve’s

meeting next week.

The Fed is monitoring price pressures keenly as it

contemplates when to crimp its massive bond purchases and lift

interest rates from near zero levels.

The Thai baht, Singapore dollar and the

Malaysian ringgit were all trading flat to marginally

stronger.

South Korean stocks were on track for their best

session in two weeks. The United States and South Korea, in a

meeting on Monday, stressed on the importance of working

together to strengthen supply chains, including for

semiconductors.

Stocks in China were little changed a day ahead of

its retail sales, industrial output and urban investment data,

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which analysts fear will show a further slowdown in the world’s

second-biggest economy.

HIGHLIGHTS

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields up 1.8 basis points

at 6.18%​​

** In the Philippines, top index gainer was Converge

Information & Communications Technology Solutions Inc

, up 3.6%

** Top gainer on the Jakarta stock index was WEHA

Transportasi Indonesia Tbk PT, up 29.41%

Asia stock indexes and currencies

at 0348 GMT

COUNT FX FX FX YTD INDEX STOCKS STOCKS YTD

RY RIC DAILY % DAILY % %

%

Japan

China

India

Indon

Malay

Phili

s

S.Kor

Singa

Taiwa

Thail

(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln

Feast.)

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