February 27, 2020 / 11:36 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most recover from heavy selloff in previous session, Thailand leads pack

    * Philippine c.bank to consider more rate cuts
    * Thailand shares end on 17-month high
    * Indonesia plunges to a near three-year low

    By Pranav A K
    Feb 27 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks ended higher
on Thursday after a heavy selloff in the previous session that
was triggered by fears of a global coronavirus pandemic as
several countries reported a spike in cases.
    Gains were driven by advances in Thai shares as investors
picked up beaten-down stocks, while Malaysia and the Philippines
gained on hopes of monetary easing and stimulus measures to
cushion the blow of the outbreak.
    Hundreds of new cases were reported in Asia on Wednesday,
while the flu-like virus was also detected for the first time in
Latin America, Pakistan, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Romania and
Algeria.
    The Thai index rose 2.1%, recording its best session
in 17 months. Heavyweights Siam Cement and Advanced
Info rose as much as 3.2% and 4.1%, respectively.
    The Philippine central bank said it would consider more rate
cuts, helping the local bourse recover from a 3.9% plunge
on Wednesday.
    Also boosting sentiment was the "absence of additional cases
in the country amid a rapid rise (in virus cases) globally,"
said Lius Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital
Development Corp. 
    Security Bank Corp gained 5.1%, while BDO Unibank
 recorded its best day since mid-Sept 2018 after
reporting a 35% jump in full-year profit.
    Malaysian stocks also gained 0.7% ahead of an  
expected announcement of a long-awaited economic stimulus
package.
    Malayan Banking rose 2.3% and Hong Leong Bank
 1.8%, buoyed by higher quarterly numbers.
    Indonesian stocks plunged to a near three-year low,
pulled lower by financials.
    One of the biggest drags on the index was Bank Rakyat
Indonesia, which slumped to its worst day in over
seven years as it traded ex-dividend.
    Indonesia's state-owned enterprises minister said on
Wednesday the government is looking at Bank Rakyat Indonesia
working with two state financial firms to tap synergies and
avoid overlaps.    
    The Singapore bourse closed 0.2% lower, dragged by
real estate stocks, while Vietnam reversed losses from
the morning session to close 0.3% higher.
    Global economies have taken a big hit on worries of the
epidemic's imapct, with many countries announcing stimulus
measures to provide some support.
    Markets have priced in a 45.4% probability of a U.S. rate
cut when the Federal Reserve meets in March, up from 6.7% a week
earlier, according to the CME FedWatch tool.           
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3111.7    3117.52         -0.19
 Bangkok                1395.08   1366.41         2.10
 Manila                 6967.84   6909.84         0.84
 Jakarta                5535.694  5688.921        -2.69
 Kuala Lumpur           1505.59   1495.19         0.70
 Ho Chi Minh            898.44    895.97          0.28
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3111.7    3222.83         -3.45
 Bangkok                1395.08   1579.84         -11.69
 Manila                 6967.84   7,815.26        -10.84
 Jakarta                5535.694  6,299.54        -12.13
 Kuala Lumpur           1505.59   1588.76         -5.23
 Ho Chi Minh            898.44    960.99          -6.51
 



 (Reporting by A K Pranav; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)
  
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