* Thai baht set for worst day since June 17
* U.S. inflation data, China retail sales eyed
By Indranil Sarkar
Sept 13 (Reuters) – Singapore stocks fell nearly 1% on
Monday after daily COVID-19 cases neared a one-year high, while
Thailand’s baht led losses among regional currencies as markets
awaited U.S. inflation data to weigh chances of policy tapering
by the Federal Reserve.
Equities across Malaysia, India and South
Korea also dropped between 0.4% and 0.6%.
Singapore’s health ministry reported more than 500 new
COVID-19 cases for the third straight day, even as the city
state executes a phased reopening with more than 80% of its
population fully vaccinated.
“In Singapore, we note risks nudging higher on the domestic
COVID-19 front,” analysts at Maybank said in a note.
“Given that eventual policy objective is for COVID-19 to be
endemic in society, we expect stronger policy resistance this
time round on going back to lockdowns.”
Besides a raft of economic data from China later this week,
investors are also awaiting U.S. consumer price index (CPI) data
on Tuesday, which is expected to show core inflation easing,
while retail sales data on Thursday could show another decline.
U.S. CPI will also be assessed in the light of Philadelphia
Fed President Patrick Harker’s recent comments to Japanese daily
Nikkei that he wanted to start tapering if the rise in inflation
proved more than transitory.
The dollar built on its bullish run from last week
and began the week stronger as investors bet on the Fed
beginning to tighten its purse strings.
The Thai baht declined 0.6%, heading for its worst
day in almost three months. Thailand’s central bank said the
country’s financial system was stable and there were no big
issues for the currency.
The Indonesian rupiah, Malaysian ringgit and
the Philippine peso weakened roughly 0.2% each.
Shares in China and Hong Kong fell, dragged
lower by tech giants following a host of moves by Beijing to
crack down on the country’s technology sector.
China is due to release data on retail sales, industrial
output and urban investment on Wednesday that analysts fear will
show a further slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.

HIGHLIGHTS
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 1 basis points
at 6.164%
** Top loser on the Singapore STI was Yangzijiang
Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd, down 3.11%
** Malaysia’s Top Glove Corporation Bhd, down
3.79%, leads losses on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index

Asia stock indexes and currencies
at 0737 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX YTD INDEX STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY % % DAILY % YTD %
Japan -0.16 -6.24 <.N225 0.22 10.94
>
China <CNY=CFX -0.18 +1.13 <.SSEC 0.33 6.98
S> >
India -0.12 -0.71 <.NSEI -0.09 24.12
>
Indones -0.42 -1.54 <.JKSE -0.34 1.59
ia >
Malaysi -0.31 -3.09 <.KLSE -0.64 -3.77
a >
Philipp -0.07 -3.90 -0.03 -2.40
ines
S.Korea <KRW=KFT -0.59 -7.64 <.KS11 0.07 8.85
C> >
Singapo -0.14 -1.66 -0.86 8.02
re
Taiwan -0.01 +2.78 <.TWII -0.16 18.42
>
Thailan -0.64 -8.80 <.SETI -0.23 12.58
d >

(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika
Syamnath)
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