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S. Korean Won Jumps, Casino Stocks Clobber Manila Equities

  • South Korean won gains 1.2% in three days
  • Bloomberry Resorts sinks 10% on the Philippine benchmark
  • Indian economy grows 8.4% in Sept qtr, rupee firms

Dec 1(Reuters) - South Korea's won rallied to a two-week high and shares rebounded on Wednesday on encouraging domestic trade data, while the leisure sector dragged Philippine stocks lower by almost 4% as trade resumed after a holiday.

Most Asian equities regained some lost ground after volatiliy on Tuesday, following remarks by drugmaker Moderna's chief that existing vaccines may not be as effective against the new Omicron coronavirus variant. 

Shares in Thailand, India and Taiwan gained between 0.9% to 1.2% on Wednesday, while Singapore stocks advanced 1.9% after six days of losses.

The won firmed 0.7%, while Seoul shares climbed 2% to recover from closing at an 11-month low after data showed that exports in November grew at their fastest pace in three months and monthly factory activity also expanded.

"Robust external demand should continue to sustain Korean growth momentum, supporting further policy normalization by the Bank of Korea and lifting the won," said Wei Liang Chang, a macro-strategist at Singapore-based DBS Bank.

"We are more cautious on the risk-sensitive Indonesian rupiah and the Indian rupee where there are prospects of portfolio outflows, but North Asian export-oriented currencies such as the won could be better buffered."

The won was up for a third straight day, with total gains of 1.2% so far, even as other Asian currencies were hurt by the Omicron-driven rout this week.

The Taiwanese dollar , Singapore's dollar and the Philippine peso firmed around 0.1%, anchored by strength in the Chinese yuan which had touched a six-month high versus greenback earlier in the session.

The Indian rupee jumped 0.4% after data showed the country's economy grew by 8.4% in the September quarter, the fastest among any major economy for the period. 

Bucking the trend, Manila stocks tumbled to a more than seven-week low, with casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp shedding 10%, tracking its Hong Kong-listed peers on China's crackdown on cross-border gambling. 

Other outdoor stocks such as mall operators and retailers also fell on the Philippine benchmark to catch up with the broader global Omicron-induced selloff in the previous session.


** Though not a part of the Philippine stock index, other resort operators PhilWeb Corp and Leisure and Resorts World slid 3.6% and 1.3%, respectively.

** Investor focus is on a two-day meeting between oil producing club OPEC and its allies to discuss their response to Omicron's threat to fuel demand

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields were up 2.6 basis points at 6.293%

Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Source: Reuters

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