Asian stocks weighed by growth worries, Philippines c.bank in view
* Eyes on Philippines c.bank meeting
* Asia FX under rates pressure
* Yields on long-tenor bonds in Singapore fall 45 bps
By Riya Sharma
May 19 (Reuters) - The Philippine peso firmed on Thursday ahead of a central bank rate decision, while Asian shares tracked a Wall Street tumble on mounting concerns surging inflation is eating into retail demand and may usher in an economic slowdown.
Shares in India .NSEI and Taiwan .TWII slipped over 2% each, leading losses among Asian equities.
On Wall Street overnight, earnings updates from retail giants tarnished global markets sentiment, with Target Corp TGT.N warning of a bigger margin hit due to rising fuel and freight costs as it reported its quarterly profit had halved. Walmart Inc WMT.N warned of a similar squeeze.
It was the worst one-day loss for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average since June 2020.
Ahead of a policy meeting on Thursday, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said its space for maintaining accommodative monetary policy was shrinking, amid rising inflation risks and the economy returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Stocks in Manila .PSI fell 0.7%, in tandem with other regional equities, while the Philippine peso PHP= edged up 0.2%, as markets expected a 25 basis point raise in reverse repurchase facility rate PHCBIR=ECI , according to most economists in a Reuters poll.
"Given Philippine's stronger growth trajectory, stronger first quarter GDP, and the fact that inflation is a bit off target, now seems to be an appropriate time to begin policy normalization," said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ.
Regional currencies came under pressure too, even as the U.S. dollar eased, as risk sentiment remained fragile after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell ratcheted up the hawkish rhetoric on Wednesday by saying the bank would push interest rates as high as needed to stem inflation.
South Korean shares .KS11 fell more than 1% while the won KRW-KFTC led losses among regional currencies, as foreigners sold a net 46.3 billion won ($36.37 million) worth of shares on the main board.
U.S. bond yields fell and the curve flattened, following the risk-off mood in equities markets, which saw investors seek demand in safe assets.
The Indonesian rupiah IDR= remained under pressure amid subdued risk sentiment and bond outflows, falling 0.2%, while long-tenor bonds in Singapore SG10YT=RR , seen as a safe-haven bet, saw yields slip 45 basis points to 2.715%.
HIGHLIGHTS: ** In the Philippines, top index losers are SM Investments Corp SM.PS down -3.45% at 840 pesos; International Container Terminal Services Inc ICT.PS down -1.93% at 213.6 pesos; ** Central Bank of Sri Lanka held its key lending and borrowing rates steady on Thursday following a massive 700 basis points increase at its previous meeting and reiterated the need for more fiscal measures and political stability in the economy
Asia stock indexes and
currencies at 0439 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC
FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY % YTD %
X DAILY YTD %
-0.47 -10.6 <.N2 -1.90 -8.32
-0.09 -5.98 <.SS -0.08 -15.29
-0.09 -4.28 <.NS -1.89 -8.18
-0.20 -3.16 <.JK
-0.14 -5.35 <.KL -0.23 -1.03
+0.17 -2.62 <.PS -0.73 -6.23 nes
-0.53 -6.64 <.KS -1.21 -12.88
+0.36 -2.73 <.ST -0.41
-0.17 -6.96 <.TW -1.98 -12.32
+0.12 -3.52 <.SE -0.78 -3.01
Graphic: World FX rates Link
Asian stock markets Link
Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes
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