March 24, 2020 / 4:13 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rebound on Fed liquidity boost; Singapore leads gains

    * Indonesia marks best day in three weeks
    * Thai cenbank likely to cut rates to new low
    * Philippine cenbank to buy $5.8 bln govt securities 

    By Arpit Nayak
    March 24 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
rebounded on Tuesday, as the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged
unlimited quantitative easing to support credit markets in a bid
to backstop an economy reeling from emergency restrictions to
fight the coronavirus.
    Policymakers across the globe are looking to stave off a
deep economic freeze from lockdowns and travel bans through a
slew of monetary and fiscal policy measures.
    In an unprecedented move, the Fed said on Monday it would
make a foray into corporate debt and pledged to buy an unlimited
amount of U.S. Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities
to ease credit strains and provide support to the virus-hit
economy.
    "Asian investors like what they see from an all-in Fed which
is being viewed in a very impressive light for both Main and
Wall Street, even as the U.S. congress dithers," Stephen Innes,
chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, said in a note.
    "But once a Covid-19 aid deal is signed, it will be
perceived as the icing on the cake."
    Leading the gains in Southeast Asia, Singapore shares
jumped as much as 4.7%. Financial and telecom stocks were the
biggest gainers, with lender DBS Group Holdings and
Singapore Telecommunications rising 6.2% and 7%,
respectively.
    Malaysian shares gained 2.9%, even after the
government said it might consider extending a two-week partial
lockdown due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
    Public Bank added 9.1%, while hospital operator
IHH Healthcare rose almost 4%.
    Philippine shares tacked on 2.1%, after the central
bank on Monday said it would buy government securities worth
$5.8 billion to offset the economic impact of the virus.

    Thai stocks climbed 4.2%, with the financial and
consumer sectors leading the gains.
    The central bank is likely to cut its benchmark interest
rate to a new low at a meeting on Wednesday, a Reuters poll
suggested.
    Indonesian shares rose 3.4% in their biggest
intraday percentage gain in three weeks, before paring gains. 

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0329 GMT
  Change on the                                    
 day                                       
  Market          Current      Previous    Pct Move
                               close       
  Singapore       2,303.94     2,233.48    3.15
  Bangkok         1,043.23     1,024.46    1.83
  Manila          4,812.25     4,743.37    1.45
  Jakarta         4,019.463    3,989.517   0.75
  Kuala Lumpur    1,295.5      1,259.88    2.83
  Ho Chi Minh     659.89       666.59      -1.01
                                           
  Change so far                            
 in 2020                                   
  Market          Current      End 2019    Pct Move
  Singapore       2,303.94     3,222.83    -28.51
  Bangkok         1,043.23     1,579.84    -33.97
  Manila          4,812.25     7,815.26    -38.42
  Jakarta         4,019.463    6,299.54    -36.19
  Kuala Lumpur    1,295.5      1,588.76    -18.46
  Ho Chi Minh     659.89       960.99      -31.33
 

 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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