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EMERGING MARKETS-S. Korean won at 2-week high, casino stocks jolt Philippine equities

·3-min read

* South Korean won up for third day * Bloomberry Resorts sinks 10% on the Philippine benchmark * Singapore shares rise after 6 days of losses By Anushka Trivedi Dec 1 (Reuters) - The South Korean won rallied to a two-week high and its share market rebounded on Wednesday on encouraging domestic trade data, while the leisure sector dragged Philippine stocks lower by almost 4% on resumption of trade after a holiday. Most Asian equities regained some lost ground after a volatile trading session on Tuesday, after remarks by the chief of drugmaker Moderna that existing vaccines may not be as effective against the new coronavirus variant Omicron. Stock markets in Thailand, India and Taiwan gained between 0.7% to 1% on Wednesday. The won firmed 0.8%, while Seoul shares jumped 2.3% to recover from closing at an 11-month low after data showed that exports in November grew at their fastest pace in three months and monthly factory activity also expanded. "Robust external demand should continue to sustain Korean growth momentum, supporting further policy normalization by the Bank of Korea and lifting the won," said Wei Liang Chang, a macro-strategist at Singapore-based DBS Bank. "We are more cautious on the risk-sensitive Indonesian rupiah and the Indian rupee where there are prospects of portfolio outflows, but North Asian export-oriented currencies such as the won could be better buffered." The won was up for a third straight day, with total gains of 1.2% so far even as other Asian currencies were hurt by the Omicron-driven rout this week. The rupiah, Malaysia's ringgit and the Thai baht fell between 0.1% and 0.2% as the greenback found support in U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks that the Fed could speed up the pace of its asset purchases. Meanwhile, Manila stocks tumbled to a more than seven-week low, with casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp shedding 10%, tracking its Hong Kong-listed peers on China's crackdown on cross-border gambling. Other outdoor stocks such as mall operators and retailers also fell on the Philippine benchmark to catch up with the broader global Omicron-induced selloff in the previous session. In Singapore, equities advanced 1.3% after six sessions of losses. HIGHLIGHTS ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up around 2.2 basis points at 6.289% ** India's GDP data released on Tuesday showed economic growth of 8.4% in the September quarter, the fastest pace of any major economy in the period ** Though not a part of the Philippine stock index, other resort operators PhilWeb Corp and Leisure and Resorts World slid 1% and 5%, respectively. Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0503 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY % FX YTD % INDEX STOCKS DAILY % STOCKS YTD % Japan -0.28 -9.00 0.80 2.19 China +0.03 +2.60 0.11 2.73 India +0.42 -2.38 0.78 22.42 Indonesia -0.10 -2.06 -0.32 8.93 Malaysia -0.07 -4.35 -0.74 -7.65 Philippines +0.10 -4.67 -3.56 -2.74 S.Korea +0.75 -7.87 2.11 0.88 Singapore -0.02 -3.15 1.29 8.32 Taiwan +0.17 +2.59 0.78 19.22 Thailand -0.18 -11.12 0.95 9.27 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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