Jan 19 (Reuters) - South Korean shares jumped nearly 3% on
Tuesday after steep losses in the previous session as gains in
heavyweight auto shares provided a boost, with investors also
eyeing prospects for more stimulus to support an economic
recovery.
    Regional equities gained further by early afternoon with
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 up more than 1%. Bourses in India,
Taiwan and Thailand gained between 1% and 2%.   
    South Korea's KOSPI jumped 2.6% recovering from its
worst fall in near three months on Monday. The benchmark index
has surged more than 7% so far this month following a 30% jump
in 2020.
    Automaker Hyundai Motor and its affiliates led
gains on the benchmark index, while heavyweight Samsung
Electronics also rebounded, a day after its group
leader was sentenced to a 30-month jail term in a bribery case.

    Adding to the positive mood, South Korea's vice finance
minister also said the government will soon unveil additional
measures to revitalise consumption.
    Currency traders looked ahead to U.S. Treasury Secretary
nominee Janet Yellen's Senate testimony later in the day for
clues on the incoming Biden administration's policies and its
implications for the U.S. dollar. 
    Yellen is expected to affirm the United States' commitment
to market-set currency rates and make clear that the U.S. does
not seek a weaker dollar, the Wall Street Journal reported.
    "Yellen's comments on fiscal policy will perhaps be of more
interest to investors, which indirectly could encourage USD
shorts on the view that monetary and fiscal policy are singing
from the same song sheet – maximum policy overdrive," said
Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at trading firm
Axi. 
    Emerging Asian currency and bond markets have trailed as the
prospect of trillions more in U.S. fiscal spending and borrowing
has fuelled a rise in U.S. government bond yields, weakening the
attraction of the region's higher-yielding markets.  
    The South Korean won and the Singapore dollar
 gave up early gains to trade flat, while the Malaysian
ringgit also clung to a tight range as expectations rose
for an interest rate cut by the central bank on Wednesday.

    Taiwan's dollar strengthened 1.8% ahead of the
release of export orders data on Wednesday, which is likely to
show orders climbed for a 10th straight month, according to a
Reuters poll.
    Both South Korea and Taiwan, which have a large presence in
the semiconductor industry, have seen a solid rebound in exports
as a global shift to work-from-home during the pandemic boosted
demand for chips used in electronic products.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    ** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 7.7 basis
points at 6.29%
    ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index include
Adhi Karya (Persero) Tbk PT down 6.99% at 1730 rupiah;
Steel Pipe Industry of Indonesia Tbk PT down 6.99% at
266 rupiah
    ** Top gainers on the Thailand's SETI were King Wai
Group Thailand PCL up 16.3% at 1.57 baht, Thai Film
Industries PCL up​ 14.29% at 0.16 baht
    
    
  Asia stock indexes and                                       
 currencies at   0738 GMT                                
 COUNTRY   FX RIC           FX     FX     INDEX  STOCKS  STOCKS
                       DAILY %  YTD %             DAILY   YTD %
                                                      %  
 Japan                   -0.35  -0.78              1.39    4.33
 China                   +0.02  +0.58             -0.83    2.69
 India                   +0.02  -0.27              1.26    3.43
 Indonesi                +0.00  -0.14             -1.24    5.54
 a                                                       
 Malaysia                -0.07  -0.81              0.03   -1.06
 Philippi                -0.01  -0.09             -0.07    0.82
 nes                                                     
 S.Korea                 +0.09  -1.51              2.61    7.63
 Singapor                +0.01  -0.74              0.26    5.43
 e                                                       
 Taiwan                  +1.77  +1.74              1.70    7.77
 Thailand                +0.20  -0.33              1.14    5.38

SOURCE : https://www.reuters.com/article/emerging-markets-asia/emerging-markets-s-korea-leads-asia-stock-gains-on-auto-boost-currencies-range-bound-idUSL4N2JU1NS