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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares post best day in over 6 months, most Asian currencies gain

    * Thai stocks hit highest since May 11
    * Indonesian stocks hit highest since May 17
    * Philippine stocks up for 3rd day

    By Arundhati Dutta
    May 27 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks posted their best day
in more than six months on Thursday, recouping all of May's
losses, while most emerging Asian equities and currencies
clocked post-holiday gains after taking a beating over the month
as COVID-19 cases surge.
    The Philippine peso and the Thai baht gained
0.4% each and led gains among Asia's emerging currencies, even
as the dollar firmed overnight.
    "Even with the dollar bounce ... major (USD/foreign
currency) pairs are still kept within established ranges," OCBC
Treasury Research said in a note.
    "Some factors still stacked against the dollar. Fed tapering
expectations are still not being priced in. There is significant
U.S. data event risk in the coming sessions," the brokerage
said, referring to the U.S. inflation print due on Friday, which
could revive talk of tapering if the reading is high. 
    The greenback remains far from late March highs, as
investors weigh the Federal Reserve's dovish stance, although
some officials have hinted that the time to talk about policy
changes might be approaching.
    The Indonesian rupiah, Indian rupee and
Chinese yuan all gained around 0.2%.
    Most of Southeast Asia was shut on Wednesday for a holiday.
    Philippine stocks ended 5% higher on Thursday but are
down 6.7% so far this year, the region's worst-hit stock market
as the country grappled with a spike in COVID-19 cases and
restrictions. 
    However, the index gained more than 8% over the last three
sessions alone and wiped its losses for the month as lockdowns
have started to ease and coronavirus vaccinations have picked up
pace.
    Stock markets in Taiwan and South Korea,
however, dipped. 
    In Seoul, investors began to worry that the central bank may
be close to winding back stimulus after it upgraded its economic
outlook and projected high consumer inflation, signalling an
eventual tilt was coming.
    Foreign investors were the main sellers on the Kospi. 
    In Taiwan, stocks trimmed their earlier losses as
the island boosted loans to help small-and-medium-sized firms
hit by the pandemic.
      
    HIGHLIGHTS
    **Philippine 3-year benchmark yield is unchanged at 2.5%​
    **Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 0.1 basis
points at 6.442%
    **In the Philippines, top losers are Robinsons Retail
Holdings Inc and Security Bank Corp 
        
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0722 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX YTD  INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  %                DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.06    -5.35            -0.33    4.03
 China                    +0.23    +2.37            0.43     3.91
 India                    +0.20    +0.61            0.26     9.72
 Indonesia                +0.23    -1.76            1.31     -1.45
 Malaysia                 +0.06    -2.84            0.54     -2.51
 Philippines              +0.31    -0.02            5.11     -6.65
 S.Korea                  -0.11    -2.85            -0.09    10.16
 Singapore                +0.15    -0.15            0.48     11.16
 Taiwan                   +0.17    +2.55            -0.25    12.69
 Thailand                 +0.32    -4.13            0.74     9.03
 

 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by
Ramakrishnan M.)
  
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