* Investors await the open of U.S. markets after a long weekend * Rupiah dips most among currencies * Philippines up 1.7% as daily COVID-19 cases drop to 8-week low * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh By Nikhil Nainan Sept 8 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks climbed nearly 2% on Tuesday as the number of new COVID-19 cases fell to their lowest in eight weeks, leading gains for most other Asian emerging stock markets as U.S. futures pointed to gains for Wall Street later in the day. Investors' appetite for risk globally looked to be stabilising after a week which saw a corrective sell-off to the high-flying technology stocks which have driven much of the recovery from March's coronavirus-driven plunge. With the exception of Malaysia and Thailand, all of Asia's emerging stock markets were higher in afternoon trade, with Singapore also up. Seoul shares jumped 0.7%. Philippine stocks closed higher for a fourth session and were at their highest in nearly three weeks. Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist at Union Bank of the Philippines, pointed to a "general positive trend" of improving sentiment in the country toward its economic recovery as COVID-19 cases fall and some indicators improve. Currencies across the region were mixed as the dollar gave up some gains, while both China's yuan and India's rupee were trending lower amid escalating tensions between the nuclear-armed nations. Indonesia's rupiah dipped the most, however, around a third of a percent. The rupiah has lost about 1.5% since a panel last week suggested changes to the functioning of Bank Indonesia, including allowing government ministers a vote at policy meetings. "Uncertainty around central bank independence may mean that the rupiah continues to underperform regional high-yielders," Moh Siong Sim, an FX strategist at Bank of Singapore, said. The outlier among southeast Asian equity markets came down to Kuala Lumpur, where the increasingly volatile glove makers dragged the market lower, and Bangkok, which reopened following a four-day weekend. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Top Glove Corp and Haralega Holdings led losses in Malaysa, down 8.5% and 3.9%, respectively ** Japan's economy sinks deeper into worst post-war contraction, intensifies challenge for new leader ** Megaworld Corp and Metro Pacific Investment Corp were the top gainers in the Philippines Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0710 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % DAILY % YTD % Japan +0.03 +2.25 0.80 -1.62 China -0.05 +1.92 0.68 8.68 India -0.26 -2.92 0.59 -6.13 Indonesia -0.30 -6.06 0.16 -16.84 Malaysia -0.17 -1.75 -1.06 -5.57 Philippines +0.14 +4.33 1.65 -22.79 S.Korea +0.16 -2.53 0.74 9.29 Singapore -0.05 -1.62 0.56 -21.64 Taiwan +0.85 +2.84 0.49 5.55 Thailand +0.13 -4.68 -0.65 -17.49 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Subhranshu Sahu)
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