Feb 17 (Reuters) - Malaysian shares slid on Wednesday as
COVID-19 curbs were extended in some parts of the country, while
Taiwan markets defied the broader downturn with the local dollar
and stocks rising on the resumption of trade after the Lunar New
Year holiday.
    Malaysia's stock index fell 0.6%, its worst day in
almost two-weeks, as restrictions here
 in three states and the Kuala Lumpur territory were extended to
March 4, despite a vaccination drive announced on Tuesday.

    Analysts at CGS-CIMB Securities forecast "hiccups" in
implementing the vaccine programme that aims to cover at least
80% of its 32 million people within a year.
    "Among the concerns are that the number of vaccine doses may
not be sufficient to meet the tight deadline," they wrote.
    Most Asian markets were hobbled by a buoyant dollar,
which benefited from benchmark ten-year U.S. Treasury yields
 rising to their highest in a year on expectations of
a stimulus-led economic recovery and lift-off in inflation.
    Recent stock market gains in the Philippines, South
Korea and Indonesia unwound as they fell more
than 1% while their respective currencies,,
 eased.
    The rupiah hit its lowest since Feb. 5 on bond outflows as a
likely rate cut at the Bank Indonesia's (BI) meeting on Thursday
loomed.
    Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields jumped 8
basis points to 6.364%​​.   
    Analysts, however, cautioned that if losses in the rupiah
were to continue due to rising U.S. yields, it could prompt the
central bank to stand pat as BI has cautioned that maintaining
the currency's stability would be its top priority.
    South Korea's won and stocks closed 0.7% and 0.9% lower,
respectively, ending a multi-day rally in both as COVID-19 cases
in the country hit a 39-day high.
    Taiwan's dollar surged and stocks jumped
3.5% to be the outliers after a week-long holiday.
    China's financial markets were closed for a holiday and will
resume trading on Thursday.
    
    HIGHLIGHTS
    ** Singapore's 10-year benchmark yield is up almost 11.60
basis points at 1.183%
    ** Top losers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index:
Axiata Group Bhd and PETRONAS Chemicals Group Bhd
PCGB.KL, down about 3% each
    ** Top losers on the Jakarta stock index: Planet
Properindo Jaya PT down 9.8% and MD Pictures Tbk PT
 down 7%

 Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0726 GMT                                      
 COUNTRY      FX RIC      FX DAILY %   FX YTD %    INDEX  STOCKS DAILY %  STOCKS YTD
                                                                                   %
 Japan                         +0.00      -2.64                    -0.58       10.38
 India                         -0.23      +0.30                    -0.13        9.38
 Indonesia                     -0.50      +0.36                    -1.02        4.16
 Malaysia                      -0.25      -0.45                    -0.47       -1.76
 Philippines                   +0.02      -0.62                    -1.10       -2.43
 S.Korea                       -0.67      -1.92                    -0.93        9.06
 Singapore                     -0.17      -0.65                    -0.33        2.87
 Taiwan                        +1.58      +1.91                     3.54       11.06
 Thailand                      -0.43      -0.13                    -0.20        4.88
 
SOURCE : https://www.reuters.com/article/emerging-markets-asia/refile-emerging-markets-extended-covid-19-curbs-dent-malaysia-shares-as-broader-market-drops-idUSL4N2KN1RL