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Asian stocks fall on China’s PMI, antitrust push; Philippine stocks slump

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Most equity markets in emerging Asia

fell on Friday, with Philippine stocks leading the losses, as

weaker-than-expected Chinese factory indicators and concerns

about Beijing’s clampdown on internet companies weighed on


Data from the national Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in China

showed the official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index

(PMI) fell to 51.1 in April from 51.9 in March.

The country’s financial regulator ordered 13 internet

platforms to strengthen compliance as part of the country’s

ongoing antitrust clampdown on the sector, worrying investors

within and outside the country.

“Asian markets are likely reacting to disappointment in

China’s NBS PMIs as well as restrictions imposed by regulators

on China’s big tech companies,” said Mitul Kotecha, Chief EM

Asia and Europe strategist at TD Securities

Investors and analysts were also concerned due to the surge

in COVID-19 cases across the region. Malaysia reported 3,332 new

positive cases on Thursday, its highest in two months.

“Recent covid resurgence in the region, including Singapore,

Malaysia, serves as a reminder that we are not out of pandemic

and sustained rise in infection could bring about fresh


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restrictions,” said Christopher Wong, Senior FX Strategist at

Malayan Banking Berhad.

The Philippines benchmark slumped 1.8% and eyed its

worst session in six weeks, tracking broader weakness in the

region, while foreign selling and extended lockdowns drove

stocks lower.

“PHL markets dipped further weighed by consecutive days of

net foreign selling as investors remain to be anxious about the

protracted partial lockdowns currently implemented in the

national capital region and surrounding provinces,” said

Nicholas Mapa, Senior Economist in the Philippines at ING.

Curencies in Asia were largely subdued. The Philippine Peso

firmed 0.3%, while the South Korean won

weakened 0.4%. However, analysts were optimistic about Asian

currencies in the near future.

“In general, EM Asian currencies are likely to advance

further in the run-up to the June 15-16 FOMC meeting as the Fed

maintains its accommodative stance,” said Gao Qi, FX Strategist

(EM Asia) at Scotiabank.

Although stocks in India were trading lower and were

set to snap a four-day winning streak, they were on course to

mark their best week in 13, boosted by quarterly earnings, even

as coronavirus infections rage across the country.

Markets in Taiwan were closed for a public holiday.

Southeast Asia’s largest bank DBS Group Holdings’

trumped market estimates with a 72% rise in quarterly net

profit, helping the city-state’s benchmark index buck the

broader regional decline and rise 0.1%, putting it on track for


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its best week in seven.


** In the Philippines, top index loser was JG Summit

Holdings Inc, down 4%

** DBS Group Holdings Ltd was up 2.11% and the top

gainer on the Singapore STI

** The biggest laggards in the NSE index were HDFC

Bank Ltd and Housing Development Finance Corporation


Asia stock indexes and currencies at

0658 GMT



% %

Japan +0.14 -5.08 -0.83 4.99

China +0.02 +0.89 -0.83 -0.78

India +0.12 -1.20 -0.71 5.77

Indonesia +0.00 -2.80 -0.35 0.22

Malaysia -0.09 -2.03 -0.41 -1.56

Philippines +0.25 -0.33 -1.80 -10.77

S.Korea -0.37 -2.35 -0.83 9.55

Singapore -0.06 -0.47 0.14 13.44

Thailand +0.06 -3.91 -0.21 9.50

(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna

Chandra Eluri)


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