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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks slip as stimulus hopes ebb, anti-govt protests weigh on Thailand

Shriya Ramakrishnan
·3-min read

(Wider distribution) * Graphic: World FX rates * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks * S. Korea shares down nearly 1% * Taiwan dollar outperforms Asia FX * Thai government announces emergency decree over protests By Shriya Ramakrishnan Oct 15 (Reuters) - Asia's emerging stock markets lost more ground on Thursday as hopes of U.S. fiscal stimulus before the Nov. 3 election faded, while Thai shares' woes were compounded after an emergency decree to curb months-long protests in the country. Shares in Bangkok slipped up to 1.1% and the baht largely traded flat, after the government banned protests and the publication of sensitive news in the face of escalating protests. Protesters have demanded the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader, a new constitution and reduction in the powers of the king. "The moves in THB on domestic developments continues to be limited despite some very dramatic dynamics playing out. Revival of tourism theme will take a while to play out as the second wave of infection is intensifying in many parts of the world," said Mahesh Sethuraman, deputy head of global sales trading at Saxo Capital Markets. "Thailand's fortunes will depend a lot on slowing pace of infection, increasing odds of vaccine, and also weaker THB which can only come about once the U.S. election is out of the way." Shares in Singapore dropped 0.8%, while South Korean shares were down nearly 1% as a jump in daily domestic coronavirus cases weighed on risk appetite. The won however firmed 0.3%. Global risk sentiment has taken a hit after two separate high-profile coronavirus vaccine trials were halted, while resurgent COVID-19 infections and the looming U.S. presidential elections have also steered investors away from riskier assets. Analysts at DBS Bank said they favour positioning of China, Singapore, Thailand and South Korean bonds over the rest of October and beyond Nov. 3 as they are more resilient and hedge well during periods of broad market volatility. Most Asian currencies were flat to lower during the day, as the greenback held on to gains, while the Taiwan dollar once again outperformed with gains of 0.7% against the U.S. dollar. Taiwan's central bank on Thursday said it will maintain the stability of the Taiwan dollar exchange rate, intervening in the currency market if there are large capital inflows or outflows. The bank added that a stronger currency, which has made the island's exports more expensive, was not a problem for the high-tech sector, but more troubling for traditional manufacturers. In the Philippines, the peso inched down after data pointed to a 4% decrease in August for overseas remittances, a key source of foreign income for the country. HIGHLIGHTS: ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are down 0.5 basis points at 1.365% ** Top losers on the Singapore STI include: Wilmar International Ltd down 5.36% at S$4.41; Capitaland Ltd down 1.78% at S$2.76; City Developments Ltd down 1.65% at S$7.74 ** In the Philippines, top index gainers are First Gen Corp up 2.26% at 24.9 peso, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co up 2.08% at 41.75 peso, International Container Terminal Services Inc up ​ 1.97% at 119.2 peso Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0439 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCK STOCKS DAILY YTD % S YTD % % DAILY % Japan -0.10 +3.18 -0.65 -0.77 China -0.14 +3.57 0.10 9.64 India +0.03 -2.59 0.08 -1.54 Indonesia +0.07 -5.39 -0.59 -18.32 Malaysia +0.05 -1.37 -0.27 -4.38 Philippine -0.06 +4.16 0.16 -24.06 s S.Korea +0.31 +1.15 -0.92 7.32 Singapore -0.01 -0.94 -0.80 -21.34 Taiwan +0.72 +4.73 -0.63 7.01 Thailand +0.06 -3.98 -0.63 -20.50 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)