EMERGING MARKETS-Philippine shares lag on virus woes, Thai economy shrinks

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Graphic: Foreign flows into Asian stocks tmsnrt.rs/3f2vwbA
    * Philippine stocks fall most
    * Thai Q2 GDP weakest in 22 years

    By Shriya Ramakrishnan
    Aug 17 (Reuters) - Philippine shares trailed gains in Asia's
emerging stock and currency markets on Monday as investors
awaited a decision on the extension of strict quarantine
measures reinstated to stem the country's rise in new
coronavirus infections. 
    Currencies and equity markets across the region rose in
morning trade, tracking gains in China after its central bank
rolled over maturing medium-term loans to the financial system,
injecting 700 billion yuan ($100 billion) into the market.
    With the postponement of a scheduled review of the
U.S.-China Phase-One trade deal also taking one big risk off the
table for now, Taiwan shares outperformed some of their peers
while promises of more government infrastructure spending helped
Indian shares gain half a percent.
    But Manila's benchmark stock index fell 1%, dragged 
by losses in the financial and consumer sectors, with investors
concerned that the outbreak will continue to hurt the economy
even if Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte eases restrictions.
    The Philippines has been reporting record daily coronavirus
infections since July despite the restrictions, with total cases
across the archipelago soaring past 161,000 and the death tally
at 2,665 as of Sunday.
    "Despite a recent surge in COVID-19 infections, comments
from authorities suggest that lockdown measures will be relaxed
in the coming week in a bid to jump start economic activity,"
said Nicholas Mapa, ING's senior economist for the Philippines.
    "With cases accelerating, it may be difficult to expect
economic activity to return to business as usual."
    The peso, which has proven more robust than Manila's
stock market in the face of the pandemic, inched higher against
a broadly weaker U.S. dollar.
    In Thailand, the baht dipped and the benchmark
stock index fell up to half a percent, as a double
whammy of political protests and data showing the economy shrank
by 12.2% in the second quarter added to the government's
    More than 10,000 Thai protesters chanting "down with
dictatorship" and "the country belongs to the people" rallied in
Bangkok on Sunday in by far the biggest anti-government
demonstration since a 2014 coup.
    Taiwan shares were among the top performers, with
gains of over 1%. Singapore shares rose as much as 0.6%,
following better-than-expected non-oil domestic exports in July,
before paring some gains to edge down 0.1%. 
    The city-state will also unveil plans to extend more
financial support to companies and workers during the COVID-19
pandemic on Monday, its finance ministry said.
    Financial markets in South Korea and Indonesia were closed
for holidays.
    ** Thailand's 10-year government bond yields are
down 2 basis points at 1.31%
    ** Top gainers on the Singapore STI include Thai
Beverage PCL up 5.79% at S$0.64, Comfortdelgro
Corporation Ltd up 3.6% at S$1.44
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Jollibee Foods
Corp down 2.77% at 140.5 peso; Bloomberry Resorts Corp
 down 2.55% at 6.12 peso; SM Investments Corp
down 2.22% at 880 peso
  Asia stock indexes and                                        
 currencies at   0347 GMT                              
                      DAILY %       %           DAILY      YTD %
 Japan                  +0.08   +1.98  <.N225   -0.62      -2.16
 China     <CNY=CFXS    +0.13   +0.32  <.SSEC    2.27      12.66
           >                           >               
 India                   0.00   -4.70  <.NSEI    0.00      -8.14
 Malaysia               +0.14   -2.29  <.KLSE    0.02      -1.50
 Philippi               +0.08   +4.09           -0.90     -22.94
 Singapor               +0.05   -1.85            0.10     -19.83
 Taiwan                 +0.49   +2.41  <.TWII    1.06       7.79
 Thailand               -0.10   -3.98  <.SETI   -0.23     -16.19

 (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Additional
reporting by Sameer Manekar; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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