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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian markets rise, COVID-19 risks drag Malaysia, Philippines

    * Malaysia, Philippine stocks and FX dip
    * Two Fed officials speak Tuesday, U.S. payrolls on Friday
    * Goldman Sachs cuts India Q2 GDP forecast after local curbs

    By Nikhil Nainan
    June 1 (Reuters) - Malaysia and Philippines stock and
currency markets veered away from broader Asian gains led by
South Korea and Taiwan on Tuesday, as local government curbs to
fight the pandemic fuelled concerns of more economic damage.
    Most Asian equities kicked off June on a positive note,
while currencies gained further ground on a broadly weaker
dollar as investors awaited upcoming U.S. data and Federal
Reserve speeches for clues on the central bank's policy stance.
    Markets reopen in the United States later in the global day
after a long weekend. The main event this week will be U.S.
non-farm payrolls data on Friday after the
much-weaker-than-expected reading a month ago. 
    So far, Asia's risk-sensitive markets have held firm on Fed
reassurance that price pressures are expected to be transitory
and monetary policy will remain dovish for some time. Still, a
strong U.S. recovery is raising doubts about how long that may
last.
    Mizuho bank in a client note said a weaker dollar sits
"precariously" against an outperforming U.S. recovery, which
could "suddenly" lead to talk of tapering and shifts in monetary
policy. 
    The won gained half a percent, while the Taiwan
dollar eased off a 24-year high against the greenback.
    Taiwan is grappling with a COVID-19 outbreak that has forced
restrictions across the island, but officials have so far
allayed concerns around any impact to the export-focussed
semiconductor industry and approved an extra $15.20 billion in
stimulus spending.
    Worries around the pandemic have gripped Asia over the past
1-1/2 months, as rising infections, new virus variants and
largely slow vaccination programs underscore the contrast
between economic recoveries in the East and West. 
    Malaysia entered a two-week strict lockdown on Tuesday,
while the Philippines prolonged partial coronavirus curbs in the
capital and nearby provinces until mid-June, despite cases
falling.
    Stock markets in both countries are underperforming their
regional peers, with the Philippines down around 7% so far this
year and Malaysia down nearly 3%. Their respective currencies
 trended lower on Tuesday. 
    "Malaysia's new lockdown measures will hit (the) economy
hard," BofA Securities said in a note as they cut the country's
2021 growth forecast to 3.3% from 6.5%.
    Indian stocks, which have been propped up by heavy foreign
inflows and are among region's best performers this year, dipped
0.3% on Tuesday.   
    Slowing factory activity and worries of a hit to economic
growth this quarter after a devastating second wave of
infections are leaving investors wary.
    Goldman Sachs lowered its second-quarter forecast for India
again, now expecting an annualised contraction of 27.6%,
bringing expected growth down to 9.9% for the 2022 financial
year from an earlier forecast of 11.1%.
    Indonesian markets were closed for a public holiday.
      
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Malaysia to roll out $9.7 bln more in stimulus as virus
spreads
    ** Southeast Asia's coronavirus surge prompts shutdowns and
alarm
    ** Asia's factories sustain expansion, supply chain woes
cloud outlook
    ** Monde Nissin debuts 0.14% lower after $1 bln Philippine
IPO
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0630 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.11    -5.65           -0.16    4.99
 China                    -0.01    +2.46           0.05     4.15
 India                    -0.23    +0.40           -0.25    11.17
 Indonesia                -        -1.65           -        -0.53
 Malaysia                 -0.02    -2.50           -0.18    -2.86
 Philippines              -0.17    +0.61           -0.02    -7.18
 S.Korea                  +0.45    -1.78           0.54     12.10
 Singapore                +0.16    +0.14           0.24     11.53
 Taiwan                   +0.12    +3.11           0.55     16.49
 Thailand                 +0.22    -3.85           0.71     10.73
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Simon Cameron-Moore and Devika Syamnath)
  
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