March 25, 2020 / 4:30 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Markets climb on hopes of massive U.S. stimulus

    * Philippines jumps more than 6%, cenbank cuts RRR by 200
bps
    * Singapore central bank brings forward policy decision
    * Thai Airways to cancel nearly all international flights

    By Arpit Nayak
    March 25 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose
sharply on Wednesday, with Philippine shares leading the pack
with a more than 6% jump, after Wall Street rallied on hopes of
a huge U.S. stimulus package to soften the coronavirus
outbreak's economic damage.
    Democrats and Republicans in the divided U.S. Congress said
on Tuesday they were nearing a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus
package, but it was unclear when they would be ready to vote on
a bill.
    "Hopes for fresh stimulus from the U.S. government saw Wall
Street getting a lift overnight, likewise sending the improved
sentiment Asia's way," Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG,
said in a note.
    "All said, the backdrop of continued coronavirus spread
remains little changed, rendering the need to keep a cautious
view on the market."
    Philippine shares hit a one-week high, after the
central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) of banks by
200 basis points on Tuesday to mitigate the economic blow from
the epidemic.
    At the same time, the economic planning agency warned its
economy might contract for the first time in more than two
decades this year due to the fallout from the outbreak.
    Malaysian stocks gained 3.9% to their highest in
nearly two weeks, with the financial and consumer sectors
leading the rise. 
    The central bank said the banking system had enough
liquidity to ease financial strains and support intermediation
activities, even as the country deals with the largest number of
virus cases in the region.
    Singapore equities rose 4%, hitting their highest in
a week, led by financials and industrials.
    The city-state's first-quarter preliminary growth figures
will be released earlier than expected on Thursday, when the
finance minister is due to unveil new measures to help firms and
households weather the economic impact from the pandemic.

    The central bank will also release its monetary policy
statement earlier than usual, amid broad expectations for
easing.
    Thai stocks gained almost 3% as the country prepares
to go into a month-long virus-induced emergency lockdown
starting Thursday.
    Flag carrier Thai Airways International said it
would cancel nearly all international flights.
    The Indonesian market was closed on account of a
local holiday.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0333 GMT
  Change on the                                    
 day                                       
  Market          Current      Previous    Pct Move
                               close       
  Singapore       2421.69      2362.05     2.52
  Bangkok         1055.45      1033.84     2.09
  Manila          5065.14      4774.27     6.09
  Kuala Lumpur    1338.45      1291.14     3.66
  Ho Chi Minh     675.47       659.21      2.47
                                           
  Change so far                            
 in 2020                                   
  Market          Current      End 2019    Pct Move
  Singapore       2421.69      3222.83     -24.86
  Bangkok         1055.45      1579.84     -33.19
  Manila          5065.14      7,815.26    -35.19
  Jakarta         3937.632     6,299.54    -37.49
  Kuala Lumpur    1338.45      1588.76     -15.76
  Ho Chi Minh     675.47       960.99      -29.71
 
 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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