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EMERGING MARKETS-Indonesia stocks drop on rising virus toll, chipmakers boost S.Korea

    * Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
    * Indonesia pares some of its sharp early losses
    * Chip stocks jump in S.Korea
    * Taiwan's TSMC to prioritise auto chips if possible

    Jan 25 (Reuters) - Indonesia led most of Asia's emerging
stock markets lower on Monday after coronavirus cases rose in
the country, while a global shortage of chips pushed South
Korean shares up more than 2%.
    Hopes that the new U.S. administration would pass a promised
$1.9 trillion in fiscal stimulus, however, supported sentiment
in Asia, which took a hit from delays in vaccine supplies and
spikes in coronavirus cases globally.
    India, Singapore and Malaysia all
fell less than half a percent. 
    "Markets are not in dire despair," Mizuho Bank said in a
note to clients. "But earlier optimism, and the consequent
reflationary reactions are being subjected to some degree of
re-calibration. And caution is being baked in."
    The sharp 2.5% fall in Jakarta in early trade eased
although shares remained at a more than two-week low. Indonesia
recorded two days of record coronavirus deaths last week and has
one of Asia's highest case loads.
    COVID-19 cases are rising in the capital Jakarta and East
Java, two parts of the country that are key contributors to
Indonesia's economy, said Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
    The rupiah, favoured by foreign investors looking to
tap Indonesia's high-yielding debt, was flat, while the region's
emerging currencies were marginally higher as the dollar held
steady ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting this week.
    The Fed is expected to stay dovish and markets will watch
for any comments about inflation.
    "That's always a difficult tightrope to walk," said Robert
Carnell, ING's Asia-Pacific head of research, referring to the
Fed's message.
    "So (that) could explain why markets are not committing
themselves ahead of the meeting," he added.  
    South Korea's chip giants Samsung Electronics,
one of the world's largest contract chip makers, and SK Hynix
 rose 3% and 5.1%, respectively, and pushed South
Korea's benchmark index up 2.2% - a clear outlier in the
region. 
    Key industries are concerned about a global shortage of
chips that is causing manufacturing delays for cars and
electronic devices just as consumer demand shows signs of a
recovery.
    The world's biggest chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), told Taiwan's economics
ministry it would prioritise the production of auto chips if it
could, noting that current capacity is full.
    TSMC shares fell 2.5%.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields up 0.5 basis points
at 6.293%; central bank predicts signs of inflationary pressure
in Q4
    ** Prima Globalindo Logistik PT Tbk, Indofarma Tbk
PT and Kedaung Indah Can Tbk PT fell the most
    ** Thailand to sell $2 billion savings bonds to finance
stimulus measures    
 Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0638 GMT      
 COUNTRY      FX          FX       FX      INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %  YTD %            DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                    +0.06    -0.45            0.67     5.02
 China                    +0.11    +0.81            0.07     3.92
 India                    +0.06    +0.19            -0.19    2.59
 Indonesia                +0.00    +0.14            -1.42    3.98
 Malaysia                 -0.06    -0.59            -0.26    -2.13
 Philippines              +0.02    -0.12            0.36     -0.96
 S.Korea                  +0.23    -1.32            2.18     11.68
 Singapore                +0.23    -0.33            -0.26    4.93
 Taiwan                   +1.36    +1.72            -0.45    8.24
 Thailand                 +0.07    +0.00            -0.12    3.22
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong and Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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