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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine stocks drop 1% over growth worries, Asia FX eye Fed comments

    * Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
    * Jakarta shares pare early losses
    * Philippines down most in EM Asia

    Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Philippine stock market fell more
than 1% on Wednesday as weak export data raised concerns about
the country's fragile economic recovery while broader emerging
Asian shares were subdued after sharp losses a day earlier.
    Currencies in the region traded flat to slightly higher as
investors eyed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's news
conference later in the day after the central bank concludes a
two-day policy meeting. Analysts expect the Fed to stick to its
ultra-easy monetary policy. 
    The South Korean won edged 0.2% higher and the
ringgit firmed 0.1%.
    Many emerging markets in Asia fell sharply on Tuesday as
investors tempered hopes for the quick passage of more U.S.
stimulus, which had boosted sentiment in recent weeks.
    Philippine stocks fell 1.5% as trade data weighed on
sentiment one day before gross domestic product figures are
released. Philippine exports dipped 0.2% in December and imports
fell sharply, resulting in the widest monthly trade deficit
since March.
    "Trade trends will likely continue going into 2021 with a
fragile global recovery expected to limit particular gains for
the export sector," said Nicholas Mapa, a senior ING economist
for the Philippines.
    He added that imports should remain subdued as well due to
weak local demand. 
    Meanwhile, a $10 billion airport deal south of Manila that
formed one of the biggest Chinese projects in the country was
cancelled. The governor of the Cavite province said the axing of
the deal had nothing to do with China Communications
Construction Co being blacklisted by the United
States last August.
    Elsewhere in regional stock markets, Jakarta's main index
 pared most of early losses to stand 0.1% lower on the
day while shares in Singapore and Taiwan eked out
marginal gains. 
    In a grim milestone, Indonesia surpassed a million confirmed
coronavirus cases on Tuesday, while health experts believe the
true spread of the virus in the country could be three times
higher.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Top losers in the Philippines are JG Summit Holdings Inc
 and Universal Robina Corp, both down more than
4%
    ** Indonesia says new sovereign wealth fund attracts $10 bln
commitment
    ** China's industrial profits extend growth in Dec amid
brisk factory recovery    
 Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0359 GMT      
 COUNTRY      FX          FX       FX      INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    -0.12    -0.46            0.29     4.31
 China                    +0.03    +1.03            -0.03    2.74
 India                    +0.00    +0.18            -0.01    1.83
 Indonesia                +0.04    +0.04            -0.06    2.63
 Malaysia                 +0.12    -0.54            0.76     -2.45
 Philippines              -0.01    -0.14            -1.53    -3.77
 S.Korea                  +0.21    -1.63            -0.08    9.20
 Singapore                -0.07    -0.35            0.34     3.93
 Taiwan                   +1.53    +1.79            0.29     6.60
 Thailand                 +0.03    -0.03            -0.14    4.24
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana
Nicolaci da Costa)
  
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