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EMERGING MARKETS-India stocks sink on virus surge; Indonesia cenbank meeting awaited

    * Investors eye Bank Indonesia meeting on Tuesday
    * Indian stocks hit more than 2-1/2-month lows
    * Taiwan cenbank says may hike growth forecast

    By Harish Sridharan
    April 19 (Reuters) - Indian stocks slumped on Monday to hit
their lowest in more than two-and-a-half months as coronavirus
cases raged across many parts of the country, while Indonesian
shares fell ahead of a central bank meeting on Tuesday.
    Moves in Asian currencies and most other stock markets were
mixed amid a lack of major catalysts. Stocks in Malaysia
and the Philippines fell, while Singapore shares
firmed slightly.
    Fresh waves of COVID-19 infections across South and
Southeast Asia have sapped risk appetite in recent days, while
weakness in currencies like the Russian rouble and
Turkey's lira has weighed more broadly on emerging
markets.
    Indian shares fell nearly 3% as a record daily rise
in infections raised concerns about new curbs in the world's
second-most populous country.
    "The COVID-19 situation is getting out of control in India.
Job markets are getting hampered, small businesses are getting
shut due to cash-flow issues, and there is uncertainty on when
things will improve," said Arnob Biswas, head of FX research at
SMC Global Securities Ltd.
    In Indonesia, investors await a policy meeting of Bank
Indonesia (BI) for cues on how the central bank will support
economic recovery as well as the rupiah, which is among the
region's worst performing currencies so far this year.
    Analysts expect BI to leave its key policy rate unchanged at
a record low for the rest of the year, according to a Reuters
poll.
    Jakarta stocks shed 0.7%, while the rupiah
edged up on Monday.
    Indonesia has struggled to sell its bonds amid a rise in
U.S. Treasury yields. Though yields fell last week, Morgan
Stanley analysts said they believe the outlook for Indonesian
bonds remains tough.
    "Demand at INDOGB auctions has still been weak, and we think
that, looking ahead, external factors such as US yields will
likely remain uncertain," they said in a note.
    "While the rates differentials between Indonesia and the
U.S. are still wide, without BI hiking rates, the bonds and IDR
would still face sell-off pressure."
    Elsewhere, the Taiwanese dollar and equities
 strengthened after the island nation's central bank said
it might hike its annual growth forecast.
    Thai stocks jumped 1.2% even after the
tourism-reliant nation reported a record rise in virus cases on
Sunday.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 0.5 basis
point at 6.511%​​  
    ** Genting Malaysia Bhd down 2.4% and among the
top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index 
    ** Biggest laggards in the NSE index were Axis Bank Ltd
 and Indusind Bank Ltd
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0648                       
 GMT                                                         
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX DAILY %  FX YTD %  INDE  STOCK  STOCK
                                                   X      S  S YTD
                                                      DAILY      %
                                                          %  
 Japan                         +0.21     -4.88  <.N2  0.01   8.17
                                                25>          
 China                         +0.03     +0.14  <.SS   1.49   0.14
                                                EC>          
 India                         -0.83     -2.54  <.NS  -2.38   2.06
                                                EI>          
 Indonesia                     +0.07     -3.51  <.JK  -0.73   1.05
                                                SE>          
 Malaysia                      -0.05     -2.57  <.KL  -0.56  -1.71
                                                SE>          
 Philippines                   -0.14     -0.79  <.PS  -0.54  -9.52
                                                I>           
 S.Korea                       -0.08     -2.77  <.KS   0.01  11.32
                                                11>          
 Singapore                     +0.14     -0.86  <.ST   0.24  12.86
                                                I>           
 Taiwan                        +0.50     +1.01  <.TW   0.61  17.18
                                                II>          
 Thailand                      -0.03     -4.16  <.SE   1.19   8.15
                                                TI>          
 

 (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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