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EMERGING MARKETS-Lockdown blues knock down Thailand stocks, Singapore shares firm

    * Indonesian stocks set for worst year since 2015
    * Thai stocks mark biggest yearly loss in two
    * Asia's emerging currencies broadly firmer 

    By Pranav A K
    Dec 30 (Reuters) - Thailand's stock index reversed course to
fall as much as 1% on Wednesday after a spike in coronavirus
cases sparked fears of another lockdown in the
tourism-and-trade-reliant country, with the benchmark on course
to end the year as one of the worst performers in Asia.    
    Bangkok shares came under pressure in their last
trading day of 2020, taking this year's losses to about 8%,
after 250 new coronavirus cases were reported, a sharp jump from
the previous session when authorities had warned of more
intensive measures to halt the spread of the outbreak.

    "It's typical COVID play," said Poon Panichpibool, a market
strategist at Krung Thai Bank.
    "The concern today is the spike in virus cases. Every sector
is hit by the fear of a new lockdown as cases are expected to
keep rising," he added.
    Southeast Asia's second largest economy, which is reeling
from a new cluster discovered 13 days ago at a seafood market
near Bangkok, downgraded its 2021 GDP forecast last week on hit
to its heavyweight tourism sector.    
    Elsewhere, Indonesian equities slid to a one-week
low in their final session of the year and were headed to mark
an annual loss of about 5%. 
    Jakarta signed an agreement with two drugmakers AstraZeneca
 and Novavax on Wednesday for 100 million doses
of vaccines but analysts flagged concerns over the lack of
infrastructure in the country.
    "Signing of agreement is one thing but ability to transport
the vaccines in required number in desired conditions to all
parts of the country is a big challenge," said Kunal Kundu, an
economist at Societe Generale.    
    Among gainers was Singapore's main index, up 0.8%,
which clocked a near two-week high as the city-state became one
of the first Asian countries to begin an inoculation campaign
against the coronavirus. 
    Asia's emerging currencies were broadly firmer against a
soft dollar, with the South Korean won climbing to a
near three-week high after the government looked set to buy
COVID-19 vaccines for most of its population.
    Stock markets in the Philippines were closed for a public
holiday, while trading volumes were thin across the region ahead
of the new year holiday break. 
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 15.6 basis
points at 5.942%.
    ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include
Atlas Resources Tbk PT and Resource Alam Indonesia Tbk
PT down 7% each. 
    ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Stark
Corporation PCL down 19.42% and Apex Development PCL
 down 14.29%.

 Asia stock indexes and currencies                                                       
 at 0814 GMT                                                                
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX DAILY %   FX YTD %      INDEX  STOCKS DAILY %   STOCKS YTD %
 Japan                         +0.24      +5.13                      -0.45          16.01
 China                         -0.06      +6.58                       1.05          11.94
 India                         +0.14      -2.65                      -0.21          14.26
 Indonesia                     +0.50      -1.14                      -0.95          -5.09
 Malaysia                      +0.35      +1.36                       0.55           3.48
 Philippines                   -0.06      +5.41                       0.00          -8.64
 S.Korea                       +0.53      +6.45                       1.88          30.75
 Singapore                     +0.20      +1.52                       0.80         -10.92
 Taiwan                        +0.03      +5.61                       1.49          22.43
 Thailand                      +0.10      -0.30                      -0.17          -7.62
 


 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)
  
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