EMERGING MARKETS-Evergrande's assurance helps some Asian markets, rise in COVID-19 weakens Singapore

·3-min read

* Philippines c.bank meeting due Thursday * Markets await tapering signals from Fed * Taiwan shares track worst day since Aug. 19 By Shashwat Awasthi Sept 22 (Reuters) - Indonesia's main share index jumped almost 1% while the main Philippines index crept further away from multi-week lows on Wednesday as most emerging Asian markets welcomed China Evergrande's promise to pay some bond interest due Thursday. The notable exceptions were markets in Taiwan and China, which suffered steep losses as they reopened after an extended holiday, while Singapore shares slid to a four-month low after the city-state reported its highest daily COVID-19 cases since April last year. Taiwanese shares sank almost 2%, while Chinese stocks fell to a near three-week low. Shares in Manila climbed 0.7% and Indonesian stocks were on track for their best day since Aug. 30 after Evergrande's announcement allayed fears of an imminent collapse, bringing relief to markets globally. Markets had already begun to stabilise on Tuesday as analysts downplayed the potential fallout from the property developer's debt crisis and saw that relief seep into Wednesday. Jakarta's benchmark index also bounced on the back of Bank Indonesia (BI) resisting any temptation to cut interest rates that are already at record lows, even though coronavirus curbs have probably hampered economic growth. Any reduction in Indonesian rates ahead of this week's Federal Reserve policy meeting, which is being closely watched for word on when the Fed will begin tapering its monetary stimulus, would have left the rupiah vulnerable. "The need to secure rupiah stability added to the reasons for the central bank to keep rates on hold ahead of the U.S. FOMC meeting this week," research analysts at Singapore-based DBS said. They added that Indonesian rates had bottomed out and liquidity management would likely be BI's first step towards policy normalisation in 2022, while they expect the rupiah to be stable between 14000-15000 per dollar going into 2022. Most regional currencies edged lower against a broadly firm U.S. dollar. The Malaysian ringgit and Philippine peso shed 0.1%, while the Thai baht gave up 0.2%. In a week flush with central bank meetings, a report from Philippines' Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is due on Thursday. The bank is widely expected to keep its key interest rate steady at a record low in the wake of a recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases and curbs, a Reuters poll showed, though one economist called for a 25 basis points cut. HIGHLIGHTS ** Malaysia's 10-year benchmark yield is up 1.3 basis points at 3.359%. ** The top gainer on the Jakarta stock index was Andalan Sakti Primaindo, up 34.6%. ** The top loser on the Singapore benchmark was Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, down 2.8%. Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0405 GMT COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCK DAILY YTD % X DAILY S YTD % % % Japan -0.24 -5.69 <.N2 -0.62 8.05 25> China EC> India +0.00 -0.74 <.NS 0.16 25.81 EI> Indones -0.04 -1.40 <.JK 0.86 2.24 ia SE> Malaysi -0.07 -3.97 <.KL -0.30 -6.23 a SE> Philipp -0.14 -4.42 <.PS 0.69 -2.95 ines I> Singapo -0.04 -2.34 <.ST -0.65 7.02 re I> Taiwan -0.24 +2.45 <.TW -1.94 15.00 II> Thailan -0.21 -10.4 <.SE -0.01 11.41 d 3 TI> (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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