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EMERGING MARKETS-Indian shares, rupee struggle amid record virus spike; other markets recover

    * Philippines c.bank sees 2021 economic growth of 6%-7%
    * India reports biggest ever rise in new coronavirus
infections
    * Thai 10-yr bond yields down 4 bps to lowest since March 11

    By Harish Sridharan
    April 22 (Reuters) - Indian stocks oscillated on Thursday,
struggling to track gains notched across broader Asia, as the
nation posted the biggest ever daily rise in new coronavirus
infections anywhere in the world since the pandemic began. 
    Sentiment across Asia recovered and equities rebounded, with
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific equities ex-Japan
 rising 0.5%. Philippines was the
exception, where expected economic impacts of a recent lockdown
weighed.
    Indian stocks were flat after earlier trading lower,
while the rupee was off 0.1% against the dollar, as the
country's health infrastructure struggles to cope with an
unrelenting surge in cases amid sluggish vaccine rollouts.

    "Unless we see the domestic scenario in India improving,
global factors will have less of an impact. Its purely because
of the domestic factors that we are falling," said Gaurang
Somaiya, FX analyst at Motilal Oswal Financial Services. 
    A Reuters poll found that investors have turned bullish on
most Asian currencies except the rupee, where short bets were at
their highest in a year despite broad dollar weakness.

    "The unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in India can
linger for a while. Investors with lower tolerance for
volatility should consider tactically downgrading this bourse to
neutral in an EM equity basket for a couple of months," analysts
at BCA Research warned.
    Equities in Singapore gained as much as 1% and eyed
its best session in over two weeks, while Kuala Lumpur
was on course for its best day in nearly two weeks.
    The U.S. dollar held near multi-week lows, aiding regional
currencies firm across the board. The Thai baht and the
Malaysian ringgit led gains as they strengthened 0.2% and
0.3%, respectively.
    Stocks in Manila weakened 0.4%, bucking the trend,
while the peso underperformed its peers to trade
marginally lower. 
    Philippines' central bank governor said on Wednesday
two-week lockdown of the capital Manila earlier this month will
likely slow full-year economic growth to 6%-7%, compared with
its earlier forecast of 6.5%-7.5%.
    Thailand's benchmark 10-year bond yields slipped
4 basis points to 1.68%, their lowest since March 11. The
tourism-reliant nation is grappling with a third COVID-19 wave
and a highly contagious variant, amid a shortage of vaccines. 
    The Thai economy could lose 100 billion baht ($3.19 billion)
a month, mainly in the service sector, a university forecast on
Thursday.
    


HIGHLIGHTS

    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 4
basis points at 1.68%
    ** In the Philippines, top index loser are Aboitiz Power
Corp, down 4.9
     ** The biggest laggards in the NSE index in India
were Shree Cement Ltd and Titan Company Ltd

  Asia stock indexes and                                 
 currencies at   0655 GMT                           
 COUNTRY  FX RIC        FX     FX    INDEX  STOCKS  STOCK
                     DAILY  YTD %            DAILY  S YTD
                         %                       %      %
 Japan               +0.10  -4.35           #VALUE  #VALU
                                              !      E!
 China    <CNY=CFX   +0.10  +0.68            -0.39  -0.40
          S>                                        
 India               -0.10  -2.52             0.08   2.33
 Indones             -0.02  -3.36             0.01   0.25
 ia                                                 
 Malaysi             +0.27  -2.14             0.57  -1.32
 a                                                  
 Philipp             -0.02  -0.79            -0.37  -10.1
 ines                                                   4
 S.Korea  <KRW=KFT   +0.12  -2.78             0.18  10.58
          C>                                        
 Singapo             +0.14  -0.45             0.92  11.96
 re                                                 
 Taiwan              +0.13  +1.31            -0.61  16.05
 Thailan             +0.16  -4.28            -0.09   8.91
 d                                                  
 


 (Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)
  
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