June 22, 2020 / 5:25 AM / 20 days ago

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian FX, stocks checked by renewed pandemic fears

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Fears of second wave of coronavirus cases weigh
    * Rupiah extends declines 
    * S. Korean stocks, won under pressure as exports fall

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    June 22 (Reuters) - A firmer U.S. dollar restrained gains
across emerging Asian currencies on Monday, while worries about
a second wave of coronavirus infections kept a lid on most stock
markets, with Thailand and the Philippines in the red.
    The trillions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus
delivered by governments and central banks globally continues to
prop up stocks and other riskier investments, and MSCI's index
of Asian shares ex-Japan was up around 0.4% in morning trade.

    Optimism over an economic rebound, however, has faded with
fresh rounds of coronavirus cases, including surges in India and
Indonesia. The World Health Organization reported a record
global increase on Sunday. 
    "Re-openings amid the global pandemic without a viable
vaccine had always been prone to a renewal of case counts,"
Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia said.
    "As it is, Asia markets appear to have entered a phase of
consolidation awaiting greater clarity on the trajectory for
global growth amid the lingering COVID-19 impact."
    The dollar, whose appeal as a safe haven for
investors has risen with fears of a second wave of cases, held
on to gains from last week against a basket of currencies.

    The Indonesian rupiah, the region's favourite
interest rate carry trade, was again the worst currency
performer following last week's cut in central bank rates and
signals of more to come.
    Indonesia's finance minister warned on Monday of further
weakness in second quarter growth as the country's coronavirus
infections climb. It now has the highest coronavirus death toll
in East Asia outside China.
    The South Korean won lost 0.2% against the
greenback, in tandem with declines in its stock market
as data showed exports contracted again in the first 20 days of
June.
    Equity markets in the Philippines and Thailand
, whose central banks both meet later this week, were
down between 0.4% and 0.5%. 
    Goldman Sachs analysts predicted the Bank of Thailand would
cut rates by 25 basis points and downgrade growth forecasts as
the country's tourism sector struggles, while the impact of a
relatively strong baht could pressure exports.  
    ING economist Prakash Sakpal said the Philippines central
bank may take advantage of the peso's gains against the dollar
this year and weaker inflation to cut policy rates.

  Asia stock indexes and                                   
 currencies at   0353 GMT                            
 COUNTRY   FX RIC         FX   FX YTD  INDE  STOCKS  STOCKS
                     DAILY %        %     X   DAILY   YTD %
                                                  %  
 Japan                 -0.01    +1.62  <.N2   0.34   -4.66
                                       25>           
 China     <CNY=CFX    -0.12    -1.63  <.SS    0.28   -2.43
           S>                          EC>           
 India                  0.00    -6.31  <.NS    0.73  -15.20
                                       EI>           
 Indonesi              -0.35    -1.56  <.JK    0.14  -21.44
 a                                     SE>           
 Malaysia              -0.14    -4.26  <.KL    0.12   -5.02
                                       SE>           
 Philippi              -0.02    +1.17  <.PS   -0.47  -19.57
 nes                                   I>            
 S.Korea   <KRW=KFT    -0.22    -4.61  <.KS    0.00   -2.56
           C>                          11>           
 Singapor              +0.09    -3.68  <.ST    0.23  -18.06
 e                                     I>            
 Taiwan                +0.21    +1.72  <.TW    0.14   -3.59
                                       II>           
 Thailand              +0.03    -3.48  <.SE   -0.42  -13.59
                                       TI>           
 
   



 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)
  
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