Emerging markets: Indonesia stocks big drop as S. Korean shares sink 2% as virus concerns hit Asia


SINGAPORE/JAKARTA Sept 22 (Reuters): South Korean stocks led a slide in emerging Asian markets on Tuesday, shedding more than 2% to touch a one-month low, as investors dumped riskier assets after fresh Covid-19 outbreaks in Europe hit hopes for a speedy global recovery.

Taiwan equities, among Asia's winners from months of coronavirus-driven volatility, and Indonesia, among the hardest hit, were both down around 1% each.

Jakarta's stock index hit a near two-week low, while the rupiah gave up 0.3% against a broadly firmer dollar after Indonesia reported a record increase in coronavirus infections on Monday.

The country's finance minister forecast a steeper economic contraction this year than earlier predicted, adding to troubles for a government which has spooked foreign investors with moves to change the country's central bank law.

Analysts at DBS said in a note that "if foreign bond inflows do not return in the coming months, the 'burden' on onshore banks and Bank Indonesia to continue to support fiscal financing in 2021 will remain heavy."

Singapore stocks hit a five-month low after DBS Group Holdings was among the banks named in reports on Sunday that said a number of major global lenders had moved more than $2 trillion in suspect funds over the past two decades.

The city-state's banking stocks shed a combined $2 billion, with the top three lenders tumbling between 0.6% to 1.7%.

Asian currencies remained on the backfoot as widespread pessimism in the markets led investors to seek the traditional security of the US dollar.

Taiwan's dollar rose 0.5% to 29.011 and was the sole gainer amongst Asian emerging currencies. - Reuters
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