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EMERGING MARKETS-South Korea, Thai stocks drop on waning risk sentiment

    * China reports highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases since
Jan
    * S. Korea stocks fall for third day, hit 2-wk low
    * Thai authorities warn daily virus cases could hit 30,000

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Jan 14 (Reuters) - Stock markets in China, South Korea and
Thailand declined on Tuesday as mood was soured by concerns over
fast-rising coronavirus cases at home and abroad, but a fall in
U.S. yields pressured the dollar and lifted Asian currencies. 
    In a holiday thinned trading day where Philippines,
Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore bourses
were shut, Seoul's KOSPI and Thai equities shed
0.5% each, while Taiwan shares dropped 1%.
    Local currencies though found support in the dollar's
decline after Treasury bond yields tumbled to five-month lows as
a Delta-variant fuelled rise in COVID-19 cases in the countries
with high vaccination rates like the United States and England,
stoking worries over economic reopening.
     The Philippine peso, the Thai baht and
Taiwan's dollar firmed between 0.1% to 0.4%.    
    "The drop in real yields arguably indicate the fixed income
market's acute growth concerns and those concerns may finally
have started to hit the equity market," said Alvin T. Tan, head
of Asia FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
    "There is a good chance the risk-off moves could extend in
the thin summer market." 
    South Korea and Thailand were both reporting a surge in
infections. Thailand has warned daily cases could touch 30,000.

    The won slipped 0.2% and local equities hit an
almost two-week low, down for a third day, while Thai stocks
have already shed 1.7% so far this week.
    China shares slipped 0.5% after the country reported
its highest daily tally of new COVID-19 cases since January,
driven by a surge in imported infections in a province that
shares a border with Myanmar.  

        
    HIGHLIGHTS
    
    ** Developing Asia's economic growth in 2021 will be
slightly lower than previously projected - Asian Development
Bank
    ** People's Bank of China keeps the benchmark lending rate
for corporate and household loans unchanged at monthly meeting

    ** Indonesian rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit
 were not trading due to a holiday in their respective
countries
    
 Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0339 GMT                                            
 COUNTRY       FX RIC       FX DAILY %   FX YTD %      INDEX  STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD %
 Japan                           -0.03      -5.69                      -0.32          0.44
 China                           +0.06      +0.64                      -0.42          1.47
 India                            0.00      -2.41                       0.00         12.66
 Philippines                     +0.35      -5.40                       0.00         -7.74
 S.Korea                         -0.20      -5.56                      -0.50         12.33
 Singapore                       -0.07      -3.16                       0.00          9.40
 Taiwan                          -0.12      +1.41                      -0.96         19.59
 Thailand                        +0.15      -8.66                      -0.45          6.87
 

    
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon
Cameron-Moore)
  
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