EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares rise on budget cheer, but mark biggest annual loss in two

    * Philippine shares down nearly 9% in 2020
    * Thai stocks reverse course to trade lower
    * Taiwanese dollar leads gains on Asia FX

    By Pranav A K
    Dec 29 (Reuters) - Philippine shares rose on Tuesday after
the country approved a record budget to shore up its economy,
although the benchmark closed the year as one of the worst
performers in the region due to the economic damage caused by
the COVID-19 pandemic.
    In their last trading day of the year, stocks in Manila
 finished at a near one-week high and recorded their third
straight monthly gain, following the signing of a 4.5 trillion
pesos ($93.73 billion) budget.
    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Manila-based brokerage
firm Regina Capital Development Corp said that some year-end
window dressing by money managers also aided the market.
    But, for the year, the benchmark closed nearly 9% lower to
mark its worst annual performance in two years as the country
battles the second-worst virus outbreak in Southeast Asia.
    In Malaysia, a slump in the shares of glove makers hurt the
benchmark index, with heavyweights Top Glove Corp
 and Hartalega Holdings down for a third
    Glove-making companies had enjoyed a surge in demand during
the coronavirus crisis, but vaccine approvals and worries about
their treatment of migrant workers have slowed their momentum.

    While Bangkok shares traded higher during most of
the morning session, the index changed course to trade lower as
the first coronavirus death in nearly two months ignited fears
of more lockdowns.
    "Fears of more lockdowns remain a major source of concern
for the market after the rapid  spread of the COVID-19 virus,
both at home and abroad," analysts at Phillip Securities said.
    However, the Thai baht climbed 0.4%, drawing
support from news that Britain was nearing an approval a
COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and
    Analysts at Phillip Securities also said Thailand should
reap the benefits from the vaccine approval as it signed an
agreement to partner with AstraZeneca-Oxford to produce and
supply their COVID-19 vaccine for the Southeast Asian region. 
    Most other markets across the region gained, with Seoul's
KOSPI closing at a record high, while Indian shares
 and Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index rose
about 0.3% each.
    Currencies across Asia's emerging markets were flat to
stronger as the dollar languished amid optimism around a
COVID-19 relief package in the United States.
    The Taiwanese dollar led the pack, holding near its
highest level since 1997, while the won gained 0.4%
after reports Seoul will sign a deal with Moderna Inc
to offer COVID-19 vaccines for 20 million people.
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 17.5 basis
points at 5.922%
    ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are Megaworld Corp
, up 3.03%, and Universal Robina Corp, up 2.35%
    ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Delta
Electronics Thailand PCL, down 22.14%, and Union
Plastic PCL, down 14.21%

  Asia stock indexes and currencies                                                     
 at   0829 GMT                                                             
 Japan                          +0.15      +4.82                     2.66          16.53
 China                          +0.13      +6.63                    -0.54          10.78
 India                          +0.13      -2.77                     0.35          14.40
 Indonesia                      +0.21      -1.63                    -0.94          -4.18
 Malaysia                       -0.01      +1.01                    -0.61           2.84
 Philippines                    +0.00      +5.45                     0.25          -8.64
 S.Korea                        +0.42      +5.89                     0.42          28.34
 Singapore                      +0.20      +1.29                     0.35         -11.56
 Taiwan                         +0.04      +5.58                    -0.08          20.63
 Thailand                       +0.43      -0.40                    -0.30          -8.33

 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)