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EMERGING MARKETS-Taiwan stocks jump on local vaccine rollout, rupiah leads Asia FX higher

·3-min read

* Taiwan stocks post biggest jump in 3 months * S. Korean, Indonesian and Thai stocks up 1% * Focus now on Bank of Korea decision later this week By Arundhati Dutta Aug 23 (Reuters) - Taiwan stocks soared over 2% on Monday, as the island rolled out its first locally developed COVID-19 vaccine, while Indonesian rupiah led gains across Asia on hopes that COVID-19 curbs in its capital Jakarta would not be extended. Currency markets strengthened after Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan, among the U.S. central bank's most forceful supporters for starting to reduce support for the economy, said on Friday he may need to adjust that view if the Delta variant slows economic growth materially. "Fears of a sharp global growth de-rating and/or faster than expected Fed normalisation may be overdone... a case of Fed deferring its announcement to taper could see USD ease off," Maybank analysts said in a note. Equity markets across the region rebounded from last week's sell-off, while investors also eyed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole later this week for more clarity on stimulus tapering. The Indonesian rupiah added 0.3% and equities gained 1%. Jakarta's deputy governor said the city had reached "herd immunity", ahead of an expected decision by the president on whether to extend COVID-19 curbs. South Korea's benchmark stock index, which has fallen in 10 of the last 12 sessions, gained 1%, while the won was flat ahead of a central bank meeting this week. The Bank of Korea gave strong indications last month that its run of pandemic era, record-low interest rates was coming to an end, which would make it Asia's first central bank to hike rates. However, "daily new COVID-19 cases are currently at an all-time high and that may dampen some hawkish sentiment going into the meeting," Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG, said in a note. The Philippine peso hit a nearly three-week high, supported by reassurances from the central bank that there would be no near-term changes to current record-low policy rates. The country also approved the emergency use of Russia's Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine. Taiwanese stocks posted their best day in three months on signs of progress in vaccinations. Thai stocks hit a more than one-month high, after data showed that July exports rose more than expected, even as the country struggled with a surge in COVID-19 infections. HIGHLIGHTS ** Singapore's 5-year benchmark yield up 0.6 basis points at 0.804% ** Philippine 10-year benchmark yield unchanged at 4.19% ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields up 3.2 basis points at 4.786% Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0724 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD % % Japan -0.15 -6.11 <.N2 1.78 0.18 25> China EC> India +0.14 -1.63 <.NS 0.26 17.96 EI> Indonesi +0.28 -2.57 <.JK 1.12 2.00 a SE> Malaysia +0.15 -4.95 <.KL 0.25 -6.47 SE> Philippi +0.18 -4.43 <.PS -0.63 -7.68 nes I> S.Korea 11> Singapor +0.11 -2.92 <.ST -0.06 9.04 e I> Taiwan +0.13 +1.83 <.TW 2.45 13.64 II> Thailand -0.09 -10.2 <.SE 1.18 8.43 2 TI> (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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