EMERGING MARKETS – Asian stocks post modest gains amid concerns from China; Thai baht jumps


    * Thailand announces reopening rules for tourism reboot 
    * Indonesian rupiah declines 0.4%
    * China warns latest COVID-19 outbreak could spread further

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Oct 25 (Reuters) - Asian stocks were mostly flat to slightly
higher on Monday as a fresh COVID-19 outbreak in China added to
worries about slowing growth in the world's second-biggest
economy, while the Thai baht climbed on a revival in the
country's tourism sector.
    Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and
Singapore shares traded flat to 0.2% higher, while
Philippine stocks slipped 0.7%.     
    China, already struggling with a power crunch and crisis in
its real estate sector, on Sunday warned that its latest
COVID-19 outbreak - across 11 provinces - was likely to spread
further, with authorities discouraging travel in an attempt to
contain it.
    Market watchers worried that new curbs could be imposed in
the country, which could see economic growth and trade with its
Asian partners slow. The Chinese yuan opened 0.1%
weaker on the news.
    There could be "aggressive measures to control virus
spreads," said Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at retail
trading platform IG, "which may put a cap on growth, thereby
potentially putting risk appetite in the region on hold over the
coming days."
    Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah dropped 0.4% to a
nearly two-week low as the coal exporter's currency continued to
suffer from tumbling prices of the commodity.
    Singapore's dollar and the South Korean won
 firmed 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively, while most other
Asian currencies were tepid.
    Further investment clues for South Korea will come with
third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data due on Tuesday.
Asia's fourth-largest economy is expected to have expanded by
0.6% from the previous quarter on robust exports.
    Leading gains in the region, the Thai baht rallied
0.8% to hit more than a one-month high after the trade and
tourism-reliant economy announced rules for its quarantine-free
reopening to visitors from 45 countries.
    Investor confidence in the Thai economy had waned due to
collapse of its tourism sector as exports also struggled after
the pandemic, with the baht becoming Asia's worst-performing
currency this year.  
    ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is down 3 basis
points at 1.733%​​
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are down 2.4 basis
points at 6.159%
    ** In the Philippines, top index losers are Ayala Land Inc
, down 4.1%, and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc,
down 2.5% 

 Asia stock indexes and currencies at                                                    
 0342 GMT                                                                    
 Japan                            -0.18     -9.18                     -0.99          3.92
 China                            +0.04     +2.28                      0.36          3.52
 India                            +0.00     -2.44                      0.00         29.56
 Indonesia                        -0.42     -0.99                      0.08         11.21
 Malaysia                         +0.00     -3.09                      0.18         -2.23
 Philippines                      +0.02     -5.36                     -0.66          1.42
 S.Korea                          +0.63     -7.14                      0.40          5.04
 Singapore                        +0.26     -1.73                      0.01         12.71
 Taiwan                           +0.11     +2.20                      0.20         14.86
 Thailand                         +0.75     -9.57                     -0.53         12.79

 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth


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