Wednesday, May 18

Asian stocks attempt rebound as Evergrande payment calms some nerves


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Most emerging Asian stock markets recouped early losses

on Friday after embattled developer China Evergrande Group made a bond

payment to avert a default, but gains were muted, with Indonesia set to snap a

five-week winning streak.

Jakarta and Singapore equities opened lower before gaining

0.2% and 0.4%, respectively, while South Korea and Malaysia shares

trimmed losses.

Evergrande wired funds to a trustee account on Thursday for a dollar bond

interest payment that had been due on Sept. 23, a source told Reuters, which

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eased some worries about its problems spilling over into China’s real estate

sector and the broader economy.

“Evergrande’s reported bond coupon payment is a positive development towards

supporting market sentiment for the immediate term,” said Han Tan, chief market

strategist at Exinity.

“But market participants still have major concerns to contend with,

including the energy crises in major economies and’stagflation’ risks.”

Nerves ahead of the corporate earnings season in Malaysia for the September

quarter when most of the country was in a lockdown kept a lid on stock gains

there.

Lender CIMB Group Holdings dropped 2% after investment banks

downgraded the stock on weak forecast, while telco Maxis Bhd fell by

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just as much.

Indonesian shares hovered below record highs as signs that Southeast Asia’s

The largest economy was rebounding soundly from a devastating COVID-19 wave boosted

investor confidence.

However, tumbling coal futures after Beijing’s vow to intervene to rein in

prices sparked concerns whether the Indonesian economy would be able to sustain

its growth momentum since it’s the world’s biggest thermal coal exporter.

The rupiah slipped for a second day, taking its losses to around 0.7%

this week.

Most other Asian currencies such as Taiwan’s dollar, the Philippine

peso and the Malaysian ringgit traded little changed as the

greenback firmed on upbeat US economic data.

Thai financial markets were shut for a holiday.

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HIGHLIGHTS

** Singapore shares headed for a third weekly gain

** The local currency firms 0.2%; Singapore’s 5-year benchmark yield

is up 3.1 basis points at 1.259%

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 2.2 basis points at 6.183%

Asia stock indexes and currencies

at 0713 GMT

COUNTRY FX RIC FX DAILY% FX YTD% INDEX STOCKS STOCKS

DAILY% YTD%

Japan -0.04 -9.45 0.34 4.96

China +0.00 +2.14 -0.34 3.16

India +0.19 -2.21 -0.13 29.84

Indonesia -0.25 -0.81 0.25 11.21

Malaysia +0.02 -3.25 -0.43 -2.61

Philippines -0.04 -5.51 -0.30 2.10

S.Korea +0.01 -7.72 -0.04 4.62

Singapore +0.22 -1.76 0.38 12.54

Taiwan +0.09 +2.14 0.00 14.64

(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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