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EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks subdued amid holiday lull; Taiwan shares fall 2%

Stock MarketsMay 04, 2021 16:10
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© Reuters.

* Graphic: World FX rates
* Economists predict Indonesia Q1 GDP at -0.74%
* India's cases cross 20 million-mark
* Japan equities closed; China, Thailand financial markets

By Anushka Trivedi
May 4 (Reuters) - Asian stocks were largely tepid on Tuesday
as a continuous surge in COVID-19 cases kept investors on the
sidelines amid holiday-thinned trade, although shares in Taiwan
dropped nearly 2%.
In a divergence from world's developed markets, which are
faring better than their Asian peers on economic reopening
cheer, equities in Singapore .STI , Indonesia .JKSE and
Malaysia .KLSE were unchanged.
A raft of manufacturing data in emerging Asia this week
pointed to a slower pace of economic recovery, with investors
further worried by the slow vaccination rate amid an explosion
in COVID-19 cases and a creaky healthcare system.
Holidays in major players China and Japan dampened activity
generally, while a mixed close at Wall Street overnight added to
some hesitation in making bets.
"The somewhat confusing price action overnight in New York
has left the region (Asia) content to sit in wait-and-see mode,
offsetting the bullishness of the Wall Street reopening gnomes,"
said Jeffrey Halley, a senior Asia Pacific market analyst at
India's official tally of coronavirus infections surged past
20 million and its shares .NSEI see-sawed in positive and
negative territory before trading up 0.2% by midday.
Electronics-focussed Taiwan's bourse .TWII saw its worst
day in over eight months as it tracked a drop in U.S. tech
stocks, compounded by fears over a recent uptick in domestic
infections linked to China Airlines 2610.TW . Singapore's dollar SGD= and the Malaysian ringgit MYR=MY
eased around 0.4% against a buoyant greenback, while the South
Korean KRW=KFTC won was little changed.
The Indonesian rupiah IDR= edged up slightly a day before
first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data was due.
Southeast Asia's largest economy is expected to have contracted
at a much slower pace in the first quarter, a Reuters poll
showed. Among upcoming events, Thailand's central bank was set to
meet to decide its monetary policy when trade resumes on
Wednesday amid an unprecedented rise in coronavirus cases in the


** S. Korean shares .KS11 rebound after five-day losing
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields ID10YT=RR are up
0.3 basis points at 6.484%
** Top losers on the Singapore STI .STI include:
Capitaland Ltd CATL.SI down 2.2% and Mapletree Commercial
Trust MACT.SI down 1.4%

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0723 GMT
Japan JPY= -0.35 -5.67 .N225 0.00 4.99
India INR=IN +0.12 -1.03 .NSEI 0.19 4.86
Indonesia IDR= +0.14 -2.67 .JKSE -0.01 -0.45
Malaysia MYR= -0.36 -2.38 .KLSE 0.16 -2.09
Philippines PHP= -0.06 -0.04 .PSI -0.16 -10.93
S.Korea .ks11="" 0.64="" 9.53 >
Singapore SGD= -0.36 -0.99 .STI -0.03 11.96
Taiwan TWD=TP +0.21 +2.02 .TWII -1.68 14.94

EMERGING MARKETS-Asian stocks subdued amid holiday lull; Taiwan shares fall 2%

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