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EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine stocks jump to 4-month high as unemployment falls

    * Philippine peso weakest in nearly 11 months
    * Indonesia imposes curbs to check virus spread
    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
    * Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

    By Soumyajit Saha
    July 1 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks outperformed their
regional peers on Thursday and hit their highest level in over
four months as the country's unemployment rate fell, while
Indonesian equities strengthened to near one-week highs.
    The Philippine Statistics Authority said here
 the unemployment rate for May was estimated at 7.7%, down from
8.7% reported in April, as the economy slowly reopened.
    The decrease in unemployment was "sending a more positive
signal to markets", said Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief
economist at The Union Bank of the Philippines.
    The respite may be short-lived, however, as the Philippines
has this week extended curbs on movement and businesses in parts
of the country until mid-July as it battles a surge in
coronavirus infections.
    Indonesia stocks were on track to rise for the third
consecutive session after Monday's over 1.3% drop, even as    
the country's president confirmed tougher emergency measures to
control spiking COVID-19 cases will be put in place from July
3-20.
    Data earlier in the day showed Indonesia's inflation rate
eased to a 10-month low in June amid stricter coronavirus curbs.
Inflation has stayed below the central bank's target range of 2%
to 4% since mid-2020, as the pandemic dampened domestic demand.

    Meanwhile, currencies in broader emerging Asia markets
weakened slightly as the spread of the Delta variant of the
coronavirus kept risk sentiment in check and as the dollar hit a
15-month high versus the yen ahead of a key U.S. jobs report.

    As countries try to ramp up vaccinations, progress across
the region "will have to see some significant pick-up to deal
with the spreads," Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG,
said in a note.
    The Philippine peso weakened 0.5% to its lowest in
nearly 11 months, while the Indonesian rupiah fell 0.4%
to its weakest in over two months.
    Malaysia stocks rose 0.5% to their highest in nearly
two weeks, while Singapore stocks extended their rally
from Wednesday to advance as much as 0.6%.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 1.6 basis
points at 6.614% 
    ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are Ayala Land Inc
, up 3.33%, and Aboitiz Power Corp, up 3.07%    
   
 
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at                         
 0400 GMT                                                
 COUNTRY      FX RIC          FX     FX    INDEX  STOCK  STOCKS
                           DAILY  YTD %               S   YTD %
                               %                  DAILY  
                                                      %  
 Japan                     +0.02  -7.06           -0.54    4.35
 China                     -0.10  +0.99           -0.07    3.33
 India                     +0.00  -1.70            0.20   12.66
 Indonesia                 -0.17  -3.31            0.42    0.52
 Malaysia                  -0.07  -3.20            0.44   -5.40
 Philippines               -0.43  -2.12            1.32   -2.05
 S.Korea                   -0.57  -4.09           -0.52   14.13
 Singapore                 -0.02  -1.82           -0.01   10.07
 Taiwan                    +0.00  +2.20           -0.16   20.32
 Thailand                  +0.12  -6.38            0.14    9.70
 
    
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
Coghill)
  
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