EMERGING MARKETS-South Korean stocks soar as growth hopes hold

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
    * Singapore facing biggest recession in its history 
    * U.S.-China trade talks on Aug 15

    By Nikhil Nainan
    Aug 11 (Reuters) - South Korea led gains for most of Asia's
emerging currency and stock markets on Tuesday, as an improved
global mood and signs in recent days that China's economy was
getting back up to speed fuelled optimism about an economic
recovery this year.
    Seoul shares jumped 1.7% in morning trade, while the
won gained around 0.2%, with traders citing hefty
purchases by foreign funds and optimism from retail investors as
factors behind the move.
    After hopes of more fiscal stimulus prodded U.S. markets
higher late on Monday, Philippine shares gained around 0.8%
while those in another trade-focused economy, Thailand, rose
around 1%.
    "Asia markets have broadly taken to the positive lead from
Wall Street," said Jingyi Pan, a strategist at retail online
trading platform IG in Singapore.
    With global trading volumes subdued by summer holidays in
New York and London, most currencies also inched higher against
the dollar.
    Data for several Asian economies made grim reading. 
    South Korean exports and imports both contracted around 24%
in the first 10 days of August compared to last year, while
Singapore's second estimate of second quarter gross domestic
product plunged by 42.9% from the previous quarter, on an
annualised and seasonally adjusted basis, contracting even more
than previously thought.
    The Singapore market, catching up after a holiday on Monday,
was among the most subdued, up just 0.2%.
    The absence of fresh Sino-U.S. flashpoints overnight helped
the mood as investors await weekend talks between Beijing and
Washington over their existing trade deal.
    Export numbers last week from China, allied to a slowing
falls in factory prices reported on Monday, have fuelled hopes
that the world's biggest exporter and main engine of growth for
the past two decades is getting back on its feet. 
    Singapore, however, warned of a slow recovery, now expecting
full-year GDP to contract between 5% and 7% versus its previous
forecast for a 4% to 7% decline.

    ** Keppel Corp drops 9.4%, top loser on
Singapore's benchmark, after Temasek abandoned its $3 billion
conditional offer for the conglomerate
    ** Singapore's top gainers include Venture Corp Ltd
 and Singapore Airlines Ltd, up 7.3% and
3.7%, respectively 
    ** Indonesian 3-year benchmark yields down 5.7 basis points
to 5.258%
           Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0347 GMT
 COUNTRY      FX          FX       FX     INDEX    STOCKS   STOCKS
              RIC         DAILY %  YTD %           DAILY %  YTD %
 Japan                      -0.10  +2.40              1.70   -4.00
 China                      +0.17  +0.19              0.33   11.16
 India                      +0.00  -4.69              0.00   -7.38
 Indonesia                  -0.30  -5.15              0.54  -17.68
 Malaysia                   -0.12  -2.60              0.27   -0.81
 Philippines                +0.22  +3.47              0.81  -23.50
 S.Korea                    +0.15  -2.31              1.67   10.40
 Singapore                  +0.07  -2.06              0.21  -20.85
 Taiwan                     +0.42  +2.41             -0.27    7.18
 Thailand                   +0.03  -3.86              1.07  -15.42
 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: Read Full Article