* Weaker China data hurts equities in EM Asia
* Singapore stocks down 0.8%, hits 2-week low
* Asian FX largely subdued
By Harish Sridharan
Sept 15 (Reuters) – Stocks in Asia’s emerging markets fell
on Wednesday, as uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Federal
Reserve’s tapering timeline and weaker-than-expected Chinese
economic data rekindled worries about slowing global growth, and
raised aversion towards riskier assets.
Equities in Singapore led losses in the broader
region, while Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia
also fell.
China’s industrial output in August rose at its weakest pace
since July 2020, while retail sales growth also slowed
significantly, as COVID-19 controls and curbs on high-polluting
industries disrupted activity in the world’s second-biggest
economy.
“Slowing China activity has a knock-on effect across the
region,” said Mitul Kotecha, Chief EM Asia & Europe strategist
at TD Securities.
“This just exacerbates global concerns about weakening
economic activity.. that we are past peak growth and moderation
in activity is now intensifying.”
U.S. data on Tuesday showed the consumer price index rose up
less than expected in August. Lower inflation suggests that the
Fed will be under less pressure to begin trimming its vast asset
purchases soon.
Currencies in the region were largely subdued and traded
sideways against an unchanged dollar.
Singapore on Tuesday reported its highest number of COVID-19
cases since August last year. A recent rise in cases after
relaxation of some COVID-19 measures has prompted the city-state
to pause on further reopening.
Stocks in Singapore dropped 0.8% and were the top losers in
the region, while shares in South Korea edged higher.
In South Korea, data showed the unemployment rate for August
fell to the lowest on record, suggesting that the economy
continued to recover from the pandemic, despite the latest wave
of infections.

HIGHLIGHTS

** Malaysia’s 10-year benchmark yield is up 1.4 basis points
at 3.307%
** Top losers on Singapore STI was Jardine Matheson
Holdings Ltd, down 2.19%
** Thai baht, Philippine peso weaker

Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0355 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDEX STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY YTD % DAILY YTD %
% %
Japan +0.06 -5.80 -0.58 11.11
China -0.06 +1.34 0.31 5.78
India +0.00 -0.83 0.04 24.36
Indonesia -0.02 -1.46 -0.27 2.23
Malaysia +0.07 -3.30 -0.29 -4.68
Philippines -0.14 -3.67 -0.14 -3.21
S.Korea -0.03 -7.26 0.32 9.93
Singapore +0.04 -1.65 -0.77 7.49
Taiwan +0.10 +2.89 -0.27 18.02
Thailand +0.18 -8.83 0.11 12.16

(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim
Coghill)
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