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EMERGING MARKETS-Asia stocks post modest gains on upbeat earnings; currencies rise

reuters.com · 04/29/2022 02:38
EMERGING MARKETS-Asia stocks post modest gains on upbeat earnings; currencies rise

Indonesia market .JKSE closed for a holiday

Singapore stocks hit highest level in three weeks

All Asian currencies climb over 0.2%

By Tejaswi Marthi

- Most Asian stocks logged small gains on Friday, taking positive cues from an upbeat Wall Street session overnight with strong earnings reports lifting sentiment, while investors placed cautious bets ahead of the U.S. Fed's policy meeting next week.

Equities in Singapore .STI advanced 0.9% to touch their highest level since April 8 after earnings from the top lenders DBS Group Holdings DBSDY and OCBC OVCHF beat analyst estimates. nL2N2WQ3G5

Stocks in Seoul .KS11 also jumped 1% to a week high, helped by strong first-quarter earnings at Samsung Electronics and other major domestic companies. nL2N2WR032

Bucking the trend, the Philippine benchmark .PSI declined as much as 1.1% and was on track to end April more than 5% lower, for its worst month since July.

Friday's gains were marginal compared to a brutal sell-off in stocks in recent weeks that forced benchmark stock indexes in most regions to track monthly losses, amid expectations that the U.S. central bank will increase its target policy rate by half a percentage point in the coming week.

"Market dynamics this week reflected that recession fears are growing," analysts at Barclays said in a note. "While recession concerns are still a potential risk, higher inflation is a fact, and policy response at the moment is aimed to tackle inflation."

However, given doubts over economic growth in China after extensive lockdowns, as well as headwinds from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, global central banks face tough decisions on tapering monetary stimulus.

"Fears of too much monetary tightening triggering the next recession have markets observing higher volatility levels as we move closer to next week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting," Barclays analysts added.

Most Asian currencies were steady on Friday, with the South Korean won KRW=KFTC firming about 1% against the strong dollar.

The Malaysian ringgit MYR=, Singapore dollar SGD= and Philippine peso PHP= all firmed 0.3% each.

Markets in Indonesia .JKSE were closed due to a public holiday.


HIGHLIGHTS:

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields fall 32 basis points to 6.963%

** China's factory activity likely contracts at a faster pace in April - Reuters poll nL3N2WQ0ZH

** DBS DBSDY shares rose 3% while OCBC OVCHF jumped 3.5%

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0503 GMT





COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

+0.25

-11.83

.N225

+1.75

-6.76

China

CNY=CFXS

-0.03

-4.11

.SSEC

0.37

-17.95

India

INR=IN

-0.07

-2.88

.NSEI

0.18

-0.45

Indonesia

IDR=

+0.00

-1.69

.JKSE

0.45

9.84

Malaysia

MYR=

+0.11

-4.39

.KLSE

0.17

2.08

Philippines

PHP=

-0.04

-2.67

.PSI

-1.44

-4.39

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

+0.72

-5.90

.KS11

0.93

-9.58

Singapore

SGD=

+0.26

-2.47

.STI

0.81

.sti

Taiwan

TWD=TP

+0.07

-6.15

.TWII

0.92

-9.05

Thailand

THB=TH

+0.19

-2.81

.SETI

0.14

0.75


(Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

((Tejaswi.marthi@thomsonreuters.com))