EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares falter as COVID-19 cases surge

Credit: REUTERS/ROMEO RANOCO

Philippine shares were set for a second straight weekly drop on Friday following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, while the Indonesian rupiah weakened as uncertainty over future monetary policy dented investor sentiment.

By Shriya Ramakrishnan

July 17 (Reuters) - Philippine shares were set for a second straight weekly drop on Friday following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, while the Indonesian rupiah weakened as uncertainty over future monetary policy dented investor sentiment.

After a bout of bargain buying on Thursday, the Manila benchmark index .PSI resumed declines to fall nearly 1%, as the country reported its biggest daily spike in coronavirus infections in more than a week.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday retained partial quarantine measures in the capital of Manila for two weeks until the end of July, but warned that stricter curbs would be reinstated if the rise in new cases and deaths did not slow.

Foreign investors dumped Philippine shares worth $64.7 million as of Thursday, after a $114.9 million sell-off last week, according to exchange data.

Among Asian currencies, the rupiah IDR= was the worst hit, falling to a near two-month low, a day after the central bank cut interest rates for the fourth time this year.

Shares in Jakarta .JKSE were down about 0.3%.

After reducing its benchmark interest rate to 4%, Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo said there would be no inflationary impact from a bond-buying scheme announced earlier this month, while stressing the importance of both fiscal and monetary levers to revive growth.

Some analysts said that pointed to more cuts in rates.

"While the burden sharing scheme could benefit Indonesia's economy, there is fear that the central government wouldn't be able to realise its planned spending," said Anthony Kevin, an economist at Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia.

"This is why market participants were also looking for clues regarding the possibility of another rate cut."

Malaysian stocks .KLSE were the top performers, advancing over 1%, driven primarily by gains in Top Glove Corp TPGC.KL, the world's largest medical glove maker, which rose 16%.

U.S. Customs on Wednesday placed a detention order on imports of products made by the company's units, but the company said it hoped to resolve the issue in two weeks and the surge in global demand meant it would be able to sell its product elsewhere.

HIGHLIGHTS:

** Top gainers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index .KLSE include Top Glove Corporation Bhd TPGC.KL up 15.53% at 22.76 ringgit, Hartalega Holdings Bhd HTHB.KL up 5.9% at 16.52 ringgit, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd HAPS.KL up​ 2.32% at 8.83 ringgit

** In the Philippines, top index decliners are SM Prime Holdings Inc SMPH.PS down 4.59% at 31.2 peso; Ayala Land Inc ALI.PS down 3.65% at 31.7 peso; and Metro Pacific Investments Corp MPI.PS down 2.1% at 3.26 peso

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 1.4 basis points at 7.057%

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0659 GMT

COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

+0.07

+1.32

.N225

-0.32

-4.06

China

CNY=CFXS

-0.14

-0.51

.SSEC

-0.11

5.13

India

INR=IN

+0.13

-4.94

.NSEI

0.67

-11.15

Indonesia

IDR=

-0.61

-5.26

.JKSE

-0.34

-19.34

Malaysia

MYR=

-0.05

-4.19

.KLSE

1.16

0.17

Philippines

PHP=

+0.24

+2.53

.PSI

-0.96

-22.09

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

+0.04

-4.04

.KS11

0.80

0.16

Singapore

SGD=

+0.04

-3.39

.STI

-0.10

-18.67

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.37

+2.10

.TWII

0.20

1.54

Thailand

THB=TH

-0.09

-5.59

.SETI

0.32

-14.41

(Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham, Bernard Orr)

((Shriya.Ramakrishnan@thomsonreuters.com; +91 8061822842 ;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More