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EMERGING MARKETS-U.S.-China tensions back in the fold, drive late losses in Shanghai

    * U.S. considering sanctions against SMIC, shares tumble 
    * China August exports up 9.5% y/y; imports down 2.1%
    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

    Sept 7 (Reuters) - Most Asian stock markets followed China
lower on Monday on fears that Sino-U.S. tensions would find new
life on the possible blacklisting of China's largest chipmaker,
while Philippine shares climbed nearly 3% in thin holiday trade.
    Shanghai and Hong Kong shares of China's Semiconductor
Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC)
tumbled after Reuters reported the Pentagon was considering
whether to add the chipmaker to a blacklist.
    That and concerns over the pace of a global recovery from
the economic damage caused by the coronavirus crisis dampened
broad indicators of Asia-Pacific shares.
    Stocks advanced 0.7% in South Korea, who along with
Taiwan, dominates Asian chip production outside China.
    Those gains were helped by Samsung Electronics,
who won a $6.64 billion order for wireless communication
solutions in the United States, a beneficiary of U.S. sanctions
on larger Chinese rival Huawei         .
    Taipei shares were marginally lower, while Taiwan
Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world's
largest chipmaker, also fell.
    Chinese exports rose for a third month, climbing 9.5% in
August from a year earlier, topping expectations, while imports
saw a sharper fall, signalling that domestic demand is still
sluggish.
    Shanghai's composite index closed nearly 2% lower
after initially paring losses following the trade data. 
    "Overall, the data continues to highlight exports resilience
and while this is in part due to Covid related products, the
data is encouraging from China's perspective," Mitul Kotecha, a
senior emerging markets strategist for TD Securities, wrote in a
note.
    But he cautioned that "China continues to undershoot phase 1
imports targets from the U.S. despite efforts to increase
agriculture imports."
    A steady dollar left little room for the region's
emerging currencies, which were mostly higher. China's yuan
 firmed 0.2%. 
    The Philippines, the region's worst performer so far
this year, jumped 2.6%. The index also outperformed a broad
sell-off on Friday after data showed inflation eased to the
slowest pace in three months in August, opening up the prospect
for further policy easing.
    The peso weakened 0.2%. 
    U.S. and Thai markets are closed on Monday for public
holidays.
            Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0723 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX       FX      INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
                          DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                      +0.02   +2.26             -0.50   -2.40
 China                      +0.16   +1.91             -1.87    7.95
 India                      -0.29   -2.69             -0.04   -6.90
 Indonesia                  +0.14   -5.71             -0.34  -17.10
 Malaysia                   -0.05   -1.45             -0.39   -4.96
 Philippines                -0.17   +4.13              2.61  -24.05
 S.Korea                    +0.11   -2.68              0.67    8.49
 Singapore                  -0.12   -1.57             -0.02  -22.14
 Taiwan                     +0.74   +2.68             -0.29    5.04
 Thailand                       -   -4.81                 -  -16.96
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Aditya Soni)
  
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