July 22, 2020 / 5:01 AM / 24 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian currencies cheered by dollar woes, Singapore shares falter

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Taiwan dollar set for best day since April 30
    * Singapore stocks hit by dividend worries

    By Shashwat Awasthi and Pranav A K
    July 22 (Reuters) - Emerging Asian currencies advanced on
Wednesday as unease around the next round of economic stimulus
in the United States shook the U.S. dollar, while concerns about
rising coronavirus cases and imminent cuts to corporate
dividends dented Singapore stocks.
    The Taiwanese dollar and South Korea's won
 each rose for the fourth straight session, with
Taiwan's currency on track for its best day in almost three
months while the Indonesian rupiah and Thai baht
also posted modest gains.
    Investors' appetite for risk has improved this week on news
of progress in developing vaccines for the novel coronavirus,
reducing the U.S. dollar's safe-harbour appeal. 
    Republicans and Democrats are also struggling to come to
terms over more fiscal support for the economy, contrasting with
the historic deal done in Europe this week.
    "The U.S. fiscal negotiations would not be inspiring anyone
to hold capital in the U.S. and while most think we will see a
resolution around Phase 4 stimulus, we find little progress
being made at this juncture," foreign exchange broker
Pepperstone's head of research Chris Weston said.
    Stock markets across Southeast Asia were mixed, with
Singapore the main standout, down almost 1% as property
firms led losses, following a cut in dividend by real estate
investment trust Mapletree Industrial Trust.
    "There are fears that others will follow. The market expects
more difficult dividend cuts across sectors," said Jeffrey
Halley, an analyst at trading platform OANDA.
    The city state also reported almost 400 new coronavirus
cases on Tuesday, its highest daily count in more than a month.
    Data from Malaysia showed the economy remained in
deflationary territory for the fourth month in a row in June,
with the consumer price index falling 1.9%, in line with
estimates.
    The ringgit firmed 0.2% while Kuala Lampur stocks
 edged 0.1% lower.
    "We see inflation staying deep in negative territory during
the rest of the year and the central bank cutting its policy
rate by at least one more 25 basis points in this cycle," ING
analysts said in a note.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields are down 17.5 basis
points at 5.748%
    ** Top losers on the Singapore STI include Thai
Beverage PCL down 2.27%, Singapore Exchange
down 1.54% and Singapore Technologies Engineering down
1.51%
    ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Apex
Development PCL down 11.11%, Asia Hotel PCL
down 7.41% and Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand) PCL down
6.33%
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0416 GMT                                            
   COUNTRY        FX RIC     FX DAILY %   FX YTD %   INDEX    STOCKS DAILY %   STOCKS YTD %
    Japan                       -0.07      +1.66                   -0.49          -3.74
    China                       +0.12      -0.13                   1.20           10.19
    India                       -0.06      -4.28                   -0.12          -8.38
  Indonesia                     +0.20      -5.26                   0.31           -18.56
   Malaysia                     +0.21      -3.81                   -0.13           0.32
 Philippines                    -0.02      +2.67                   0.11           -21.40
   S.Korea                      +0.37      -3.10                   0.01            1.43
  Singapore                     -0.01      -2.81                   -0.85          -19.10
    Taiwan                      +0.49      +2.37                   0.49            3.84
   Thailand                     +0.16      -5.14                   -0.26          -13.06
 
 (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Pranav A K in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
  
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