February 3, 2020 / 4:37 AM / 15 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Slip as virus toll fuels slowdown fears; Vietnam dives 5%

    * Coronavirus death toll crosses 350
    * Markets track China stocks lower after Lunar New Year
break
    * Malaysian shares hit their lowest since Aug 2015

    By Shruti Sonal
    Feb 3 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks fell on Monday,
with the Vietnam index losing nearly 5%, as mounting fears over
a virus outbreak drove a steep sell-off in Chinese stocks after
markets reopened following extended holidays for the Lunar New
Year.
    The death toll from the new coronavirus in China's central
province of Hubei rose by 56 to 350 on Monday, state television
said, citing official figures.
    In a bid to support the economy, the central bank of China -
the region's biggest trading partner - unexpectedly cut interest
rates on reverse repurchase agreements and pledged to inject
$174 billion of liquidity into markets. 
    The Shanghai Composite Index shed nearly 9% despite
the measures, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan was on track for an eighth
straight session of losses.
    Shares in trade-reliant Singapore dropped over 1%,
weighed down by real estate stocks, with index heavyweights
Mapletree Commercial Trust and Capitaland Commercial
Trust diving 1.7% and 1.5% respectively. 
    "Sentiment remains very fragile as markets dynamically try
to get a sense of when containment will catch up with
contagion," Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank,
said in a note to clients.
    "Until then, backstops and stabilization may be more a
punctuation in the "risk-off" environment, rather than a
turnaround in sentiment," Varathan said.
    Economic data from China added to the gloom as factory
activity slowed in January, while annual industrial profit also
fell in the world's second-largest economy.
    Leading losses in the region, Vietnam stocks dropped
4.8% and suffered their worst session since October 2018,
dragged down by financial and real estate sectors. 
    Vietjet Aviation JSC fell 7% to hit its lowest
since June 20 last year, after Vietnam during the weekend
declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus epidemic
and briefly halted all flights to and from China including Hong
Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
    Malaysian equities extended losses for a tenth
straight session to hit their lowest since August 2015, with
leading decliners Top Glove Corp Bhd and telecom firm
Axiata Group Bhd shedding nearly 2% each. 
    Indonesian shares fell as much as 1%, weighed down
by consumer and communication stocks.
    
   
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0315 GMT
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3122.12   3153.73         -1.00
 Bangkok                1506.36   1514.14         -0.51
 Manila                 7189.52   7200.79         -0.16
 Jakarta                5897.186  5940.048        -0.72
 Kuala Lumpur           1526.35   1531.06         -0.31
 Ho Chi Minh            903.89    936.62          -3.49
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3122.12   3222.83         -3.12
 Bangkok                1506.36   1579.84         -4.65
 Manila                 7189.52   7,815.26        -8.01
 Jakarta                5897.186  6,299.54        -6.39
 Kuala Lumpur           1526.35   1588.76         -3.93
 Ho Chi Minh            903.89    960.99          -5.94
 


 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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