February 13, 2020 / 4:57 AM / 13 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Down in thin trade on surge in new virus cases, Indonesia leads declines

    * Indonesia leads declines, down 0.5%
    * Philippines on track to fall for second straight day
    * Singapore and Vietnam subdued

    By Arundhati Dutta
    Feb 13 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets edged lower
in thin trading on Thursday as a surge in the number of
coronavirus cases prompted investors to stay away from risky
    The death toll in China's Hubei province leapt by a record
242 as of Wednesday and the number of new cases soared to 14,840
after the country used a new method to report infections.

    Analysts at Maybank said in a note that since the surge in
new cases was a result of "broadening the definition of
confirmed cases", new numbers as of Thursday will be closely
watched to see if it normalizes.
    Global stocks have rallied after China's senior medical
advisor said the epidemic would be over by April. But the market
hopes were dashed on Thursday by the latest numbers.
    "The release of a new approach to confirming Covid-19 cases
in Hubei makes the numbers look a lot higher, but may not be as
bad as it sounds," Robert Carnell, economist at ING wrote in a
    Philippine equities were on track for a second
straight day of losses. Index heavyweights Ayala Land Inc
 skid up to 1.4% and SM Investments Corp 0.7%. 
    The Indonesian benchmark shed as much as 0.5%,
dragged lower by materials stocks. Cement maker PT Semen
Indonesia (Persero) Tbk  dropped up to 4%. 
    The Malaysian index inched lower, hurt by losses in
heavyweight financials such as Hong Leong Financial Group
 and CIMB Group.
    The Thai index lost as much as 0.4%, pressured by
utilities stocks. Electricity distributor Global Power Synergy
Pcl lost over 2%. 
    Shares in Singapore and Vietnam were also
trading slightly lower.

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 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3217      3223.37         -0.2
 Bangkok                1535.3    1539.84         -0.29
 Manila                 7350.08   7383.1          -0.45
 Jakarta                5883.126  5913.081        -0.51
 Kuala Lumpur           1539.59   1542.94         -0.22
 Ho Chi Minh            935.68    937.68          -0.21
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3217      3222.83         -0.18
 Bangkok                1535.3    1579.84         -2.82
 Manila                 7350.08   7,815.26        -5.95
 Jakarta                5883.126  6,299.54        -6.61
 Kuala Lumpur           1539.59   1588.76         -3.09
 Ho Chi Minh            935.68    960.99          -2.63

 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Arun Koyyur)
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