February 3, 2020 / 10:27 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Track losses in Chinese stocks to end lower; virus toll rises

    * Shanghai markets plunge post Lunar New Year break
    * Singapore stocks close at lowest level since Oct. 18, 2019
    * Malaysian shares extend losses for tenth straight session

    By Shruti Sonal
    Feb 3 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks fell on Monday,
tracking a steep sell-off in Chinese equities which faced the
brunt of investor worries over a rising death toll from the
coronavirus epidemic on the first day of trade after the Lunar
New Year break.
    The number of deaths in China from the newly identified
virus, which emerged in Wuhan city in the central province of
Hubei in December, had risen to 361 as of Sunday, according to
the National Health Commission.
    The Shanghai Composite index shed nearly 9% and lost
as much as $420 billion of its value even as the country's
central bank cut interest rates on reverse repurchase agreements
and pledged to inject $174 billion of liquidity into markets.
    Leading losses in the region were Singapore shares
which dropped 1.2% to hit lowest since Oct. 18, 2019.
    Comfortdelgro Corp Ltd, which operates in nine
Chinese cities, fell nearly 2% and was among the biggest
percentage loser on the index.
    "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,
    Economic data from China, the region's biggest trading
partner, added to the gloom as factory activity slowed in
January, while annual industrial profit also fell.
    Vietnam stocks, which dropped as much as 4.8% during
the day, pared some losses to end 0.9% lower.
    Vietjet Aviation JSC plunged 7% after Vietnam
briefly halted all flights to and from China including Hong
Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
    Philippines, which reported the first fatality related to
the virus outside mainland China, saw its benchmark index
fall 0.9%.
    Financials were the biggest drag on the index, with Security
Bank Corp hitting its lowest since July 2019.
    Malaysian equities extended losses for a tenth
straight session.
    Palm oil producing firms Sime Darby Bhd and Hap
Seng Consolidated Bhd fell nearly 2.4% each after
India raised the import tax on crude palm oil to 44% from 37.5%
on Saturday.
    Indonesian shares fell nearly 1%, weighed down by
consumer and communication stocks. The country is slated to
report fourth-quarter GDP figures on Wednesday at 0400 GMT.
    A Reuters poll showed growth in Southeast Asia's largest
economy probably edged up in the final quarter of last year, but
full-year growth could slow for the first time in four years.

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 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3116.31  3153.73         -1.19
 Bangkok                1496.06  1514.14         -1.19
 Manila                 7137.03  7200.79         -0.89
 Jakarta                5884.17  5940.048        -0.94
 Kuala Lumpur           1521.95  1531.06         -0.60
 Ho Chi Minh            928.14   936.62          -0.91
 Change so far in 2020                           
 Market                 Current  End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3116.31  3222.83         -3.31
 Bangkok                1496.06  1579.84         -5.30
 Manila                 7137.03  7,815.26        -8.68
 Jakarta                5884.17  6,299.54        -6.59
 Kuala Lumpur           1521.95  1588.76         -4.21
 Ho Chi Minh            928.14   960.99          -3.42
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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