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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks fall on China's PMI, antitrust push; Philippine stocks slump

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
    * Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
    * Chinese PMIs weigh on regional equities
    * Singapore stocks eye best week in seven
    * Philippines eyes worst day in six weeks

    By Harish Sridharan
    April 30 (Reuters) - Most equity markets in emerging Asia
fell on Friday, with Philippine stocks leading the losses, as
weaker-than-expected Chinese factory indicators and concerns
about Beijing's clampdown on internet companies weighed on
sentiment.
    Data from the national Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in China 
showed the official manufacturing purchasing managers' index
(PMI) fell to 51.1 in April from 51.9 in March.
    The country's financial regulator ordered 13 internet
platforms to strengthen compliance as part of the country's
ongoing antitrust clampdown on the sector, worrying investors
within and outside the country.  
    "Asian markets are likely reacting to disappointment in
China's NBS PMIs as well as restrictions imposed by regulators
on China's big tech companies," said Mitul Kotecha, Chief EM
Asia and Europe strategist at TD Securities
    Investors and analysts were also concerned due to the surge
in COVID-19 cases across the region. Malaysia reported 3,332 new
positive cases on Thursday, its highest in two months.
    "Recent covid resurgence in the region, including Singapore,
Malaysia, serves as a reminder that we are not out of pandemic
and sustained rise in infection could bring about fresh
restrictions," said Christopher Wong, Senior FX Strategist at
Malayan Banking Berhad. 
    The Philippines benchmark slumped 1.8% and eyed its
worst session in six weeks, tracking broader weakness in the
region, while foreign selling and extended lockdowns drove
stocks lower.   
    "PHL markets dipped further weighed by consecutive days of
net foreign selling as investors remain to be anxious about the
protracted partial lockdowns currently implemented in the
national capital region and surrounding provinces," said
Nicholas Mapa, Senior Economist in the Philippines at ING. 
    Curencies in Asia were largely subdued. The Philippine Peso
 firmed 0.3%, while the South Korean won
weakened 0.4%. However, analysts were optimistic about Asian
currencies in the near future.
    "In general, EM Asian currencies are likely to advance
further in the run-up to the June 15-16 FOMC meeting as the Fed
maintains its accommodative stance," said Gao Qi, FX Strategist
(EM Asia) at Scotiabank.    
    Although stocks in India were trading lower and were
set to snap a four-day winning streak, they were on course to
mark their best week in 13, boosted by quarterly earnings, even
as coronavirus infections rage across the country. 
    Markets in Taiwan were closed for a public holiday. 
    Southeast Asia's largest bank DBS Group Holdings' 
trumped market estimates with a 72% rise in quarterly net
profit, helping the city-state's benchmark index buck the
broader regional decline and rise 0.1%, putting it on track for
its best week in seven.

    
Highlights
    
    ** In the Philippines, top index loser was JG Summit
Holdings Inc, down 4%
    ** DBS Group Holdings Ltd was up 2.11% and the top
gainer on the Singapore STI     
    ** The biggest laggards in the NSE index were HDFC
Bank Ltd and Housing Development Finance Corporation
Ltd
  
  Asia stock indexes and currencies at                           
 0658 GMT                                                  
 COUNTRY      FX RIC           FX     FX    INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                            DAILY  YTD %            DAILY   YTD %
                                %                       %  
 Japan                      +0.14  -5.08            -0.83    4.99
 China                      +0.02  +0.89            -0.83   -0.78
 India                      +0.12  -1.20            -0.71    5.77
 Indonesia                  +0.00  -2.80            -0.35    0.22
 Malaysia                   -0.09  -2.03            -0.41   -1.56
 Philippines                +0.25  -0.33            -1.80  -10.77
 S.Korea                    -0.37  -2.35            -0.83    9.55
 Singapore                  -0.06  -0.47             0.14   13.44
 Thailand                   +0.06  -3.91            -0.21    9.50
 

 (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna
Chandra Eluri)
  
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