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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks steady but China worries weigh; S.Korea shares gain

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* S.Korea's 2021 trade volume hits $1 trln * Malaysia stocks dragged by glove makers * Chinese property sector weighs on local stocks By Indranil Sarkar Oct 26 (Reuters) - South Korean shares led gains among Asia's emerging stock markets on Tuesday as a strong start to the earnings season boosted chipmakers, but investor mood was sombre amid property troubles and rising COVID-19 cases in China. Stocks in Indonesia, India Thailand, Singapore and Philippines were up between 0.2% and 0.9%. China stepped up curbs in Beijing after reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases from a Delta variant outbreak, with health officials fearing that infections in the world's most populated country were likely to spread further. Shanghai stocks tripped 0.3% and the yuan traded flat. "There have been questions about when China might lift its zero-case COVID strategy," said Alvin Tan, RBC Capital Markets' head of Asia FX Strategy, adding that the country was unlikely to shift to a more open policy before the Winter Olympics scheduled for February next year. More movement restrictions could hurt its trade with Asian countries as China is the region's top trade partner, adding to woes stemming from a liquidity crisis at the country's high-yield real estate sector that could have a global impact. South Korea's KOSPI jumped 0.9% to a near one-month high as high-profile chipmakers reported earnings and customs data showed trade volume for the year had reached $1 trillion. The won firmed 0.1% even as growth in the third quarter slowed for Asia's fourth-largest economy, with robust exports offset by weak domestic demand and construction and facility investments. However, analysts were sure the Bank of Korea would go ahead and raise interest rates at its policy meeting next month. Malaysian stocks fell 0.2%, dragged by the world's biggest latex glove maker Top Glove and peer Hartalega Holdings. Top Glove and Hartalega fell 1.5% and 4.5%, respectively, after Supermax Corp warned of a hit from a U.S. import ban. Supermax, which is not part of the benchmark stock index, slid 1.6%. Its gloves were banned by the United States last week over alleged forced labour practices, the fourth Malaysian firm to face such a ban in the past 15 months. Other Asian currencies were mixed against a steady dollar, with the Malaysian ringgit and Taiwan's dollar firming up to 0.2% each, while the Philippine peso slipped. HIGHLIGHTS ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 0.5 basis points at 6.164%​​ ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is down 1.3 basis points at 3.608%​​ ** Singapore shares weighed down by conglomerate Keppel Corp over a unit facing a lawsuit of about $819 million in the United States Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0716 GMT COUNTRY FX FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS RIC YTD DAILY YTD DAILY % % % % Japan -0.23 -9.41 1.77 6.06 China India Indonesia +0.04 -0.78 0.60 11.48 Malaysia +0.06 -3.06 -0.15 -2.56 Philippines -0.03 -5.46 0.56 1.57 S.Korea Singapore -0.02 -1.95 0.10 12.70 Taiwan Thailand (Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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