EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks, currencies slip on renewed spike in COVID-19 cases

    * Asian currencies weaker as dollar firms on safe-haven
    * Singapore stocks eye worst session in nearly 2 months
    * South Korea stocks on track for worst session since March

    By Harish Sridharan
    April 21 (Reuters) - Asian stocks and currencies fell on
Wednesday as renewed concerns over spiking coronavirus cases in
India and elsewhere in the world rekindled doubts about the
speed and strength of a global economic recovery.
    Equity markets in export-focused countries such as Singapore
 and South Korea took the biggest hit in the
region as riskier assets came under pressure globally.
    The dollar benefited from safe-haven demand
overnight, weighing on most Asian currencies, while a negative
lead from Wall Street didn't help either, with streaming
services giant Netflix tumbling after an underwhelming
earnings update. 
    "Market players seem caught between a rock and a hard place
where global infection levels, most notably India's, remain high
but companies that benefitted from the pandemic seem to be at an
inflexion point," analysts at Maybank wrote in a note.
    India reported its worst daily death toll on Tuesday, as the
the world's second most populous country's stretched healthcare
system struggles to cope with the pandemic's sweeping impact.

    Indian currency and equity markets, which were shut for a
local holiday, could be in for a torrid reception when they
re-open on Thursday. 
    Singapore stocks were on course to mark their worst day in
nearly two months, while South Korean shares fell as much as
1.7% and looked set for their weakest session in six weeks. 
    South Korea data earlier in the day showed the country's
exports during the first 20 days of April jumped 45.4% from a
year earlier, but that did little to lift sentiment in the face
of an uncertain global trade outlook. 
    The won fell 0.6% to 1,119.1 per dollar, on track
for its worst daily performance in nearly five weeks.
    The Indonesian rupiah was off 0.3% even as country's
central bank stood pat on interest rates on Tuesday and signaled
its commitment to stem further depreciation of the currency.

    The Thai baht slipped 0.2% to 31.340 per dollar, a
more than one-week low. 
    Analysts at DBS said that the currency is expected to hold
between 31.0 and 31.5 and that record number of coronavirus
infections will weigh on the economy and currency of the
tourism-reliant country.
    In Russia, the rouble and Russian stock indexes declined on
Tuesday as a military buildup near Ukraine raised international

    ** Top loser on the Singapore STI was Keppel
Corporation Ltd, down 2.94% 
    ** Among the heavyweights in South Korea, technology giant
Samsung Electronics fell 1.55% 
    ** Axiata Group Bhd fell 3.25% and was the top
losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index

  Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0421 GMT                       
                                                      X   DAILY  S YTD
                                                              %      %
 Japan                           +0.04      -4.44  <.N2  -2.06   3.85
 China                           +0.02      +0.44  <.SS    0.15   0.14
 Indonesia                       -0.24      -3.37  <.JK   -0.56   0.43
 Malaysia                        +0.00      -2.26  <.KL   -0.39  -1.59
 Philippines                     -0.03      -0.78  <.PS   -0.29  -9.22
 S.Korea                         -0.47      -2.80  <.KS   -1.63  10.26
 Singapore                       -0.04      -0.63  <.ST   -1.26  10.83
 Taiwan                          +0.22      +1.45  <.TW   -0.42  17.10
 Thailand                        -0.10      -4.28  <.SE   -0.08   8.93

 (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)