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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian FX, stocks slide as virus woes hurt risk sentiment

    * China reports highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases since Jan
    * S. Korea stocks fall for third day
    * Thai authorities warn daily virus cases could hit 30,000
    * Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore stock markets closed for
holiday

    By Anushka Trivedi
    July 20 (Reuters) - Equities in South Korea, India, and Thailand declined on
Tuesday, while most Asian currencies traded flat to lower, as the rapid spread
of novel coronavirus at home and abroad intensified fears about a slowdown in
global economic growth.
    In holiday-thinned trade where Philippines, Indonesia,
Malaysia and Singapore bourses were shut, Seoul, Thailand
 and Taiwan's stocks dropped between 0.4% and 1.6%.
    Investors bought safe-haven assets, with U.S. Treasury yields tumbling to
five-month lows, as a Delta variant-fuelled rise in COVID-19 cases in countries
with high vaccination rates like the United States and England stoked worries
over economic growth.
    "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."
    Denting sentiment further, China — the region's growth engine — reported its
highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases since January after a second cluster of
infections involving the highly contagious Delta variant emerged.
    Shanghai shares eased 0.3%, but the yuan nudged up 0.1%
after the People's Bank of China stood pat on benchmark lending rate despite
growing expectations for a cut.
    The South Korean won and the Singapore dollar weakened
0.2% each, while the Thai baht was little changed.
    All of the three countries are seeing a spike in cases amid curbs that have
curtailed economic activity. Thailand is among the worst affected, as
authorities there warned daily infections could reach the 30,000-mark amid a
slow vaccination rate.
    Indian shares slid 1% to a one-month low after some blue-chip
companies posted mixed results.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    
    ** Developing Asia's economic growth in 2021 will be slightly lower than
previously projected - Asian Development Bank
    ** Top losers on Thailand's SETI include Jasmine Telecom Systems PCL
 down 12.% and Central Plaza Hotel PCL down 8% 
    ** Indonesian rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit were not
trading due to a holiday in their respective countries
    

 Asia stock indexes & currencies at 0636 GMT                                          
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX DAILY %  FX YTD %    INDEX  STOCKS DAILY %   STOCKS YTD %
 Japan                         -0.05     -5.72                    -0.96          -0.20
 China                         +0.05     +0.64                    -0.16           1.74
 India                         +0.03     -2.38                    -0.91          11.64
 Philippines                   +0.22     -5.53                     0.00          -7.74
 S.Korea                       -0.23     -5.58                    -0.35          12.50
 Singapore                     -0.23     -3.32                     0.00           9.40
 Taiwan                        -0.10     +1.44                    -1.46          18.98
 Thailand                      +0.06     -8.74                    -1.60           5.65
 

    
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
  
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