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Philippine stocks hit 2-month low on China sell-off, virus woes

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Philippine stocks fell to a two-month

low and led losses among Asian equities on Monday, as a sharp

drop in Chinese shares and soaring COVID-19 cases in countries

such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand weighed on sentiment.

Chinese shares closed 2.3% lower as worries over the

impact of government regulations hammered the education and

property sectors, after Beijing barred for-profit tutoring in

core school subjects.

“The drop (in Southeast Asia) today in part is China-led,”

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said Mitul Kotecha, chief emerging market Asia & Europe

strategist at TD Securities.

Equities in Manila fell 2.3%, leading losses in the

Southeast Asia region as strong U.S. corporate earnings sucked

funds out of emerging markets into Wall Street.

“The downturn in stocks (in the Philippines) can be traced

to the ongoing pickup in Delta variant infections in the

country, with businesses concerned about a potential return to

stringent lockdowns,” said Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at

ING Research.

“Philippine financial markets will likely be pressured in

the near term as the spate of negative news continues.”

Thailand reported a record number of coronavirus cases on

Monday, while Malaysia has notched up more than 1 million

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infections, as the virulent Delta variant carves a deadly path

through Southeast Asia.

The Indian rupee, Taiwan’s dollar and

Singapore’s dollar traded flat to 0.1% weaker as the

greenback held near its highest level since April ahead of a

U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

The U.S. central bank will conclude its two-day policy

review on Wednesday, with market participants watching out for

clues on the timing of stimulus tapering.

Meanwhile, Indonesia on Sunday extended its COVID-19

restrictions by a week to Aug. 2 and said it would add more

intensive care units amid a rise in deaths.

South Korean stocks and the won weakened

ahead of second-quarter gross domestic product data due on

Tuesday, as worries over rising COVID-19 cases took hold.

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South Korea’s economy is likely to post its fastest

year-on-year growth in a decade in the second quarter on

resilience in exports and investments, a Reuters poll showed.

Highlights

** Philippine stock index closes at lowest since May 26

** Top gainer on the Jakarta stock index was Equity

Development Investment Tbk PT, up 34.21%

** Malaysia govt will not seek extension of the national

state of emergency – reports

Asia stock indexes and

currencies at 0711 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCK

DAILY YTD % X DAILY S YTD

% % %

Japan +0.29 -6.33 <.n2>

China EC>

India -0.06 -1.85 <.ns ei>

Indones +0.00 -3.11 <.jk ia se>

Malaysi -0.05 -4.90 <.kl a se>

Philipp -0.28 -4.65 <.ps ines i> 4

S.Korea 11>

Singapo -0.08 -2.95 <.st re i>

Taiwan -0.11 +1.51 <.tw ii>

(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana

Nicolaci da Costa and Subhranshu Sahu)

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