May 14, 2020 / 4:24 AM / 23 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most drop on concerns over economic recovery

    * Singapore shares drop to the lowest level since April-end
    * Sime Darby Plantations top loser in Malaysian index

    By Pranav A K
    May 14 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Thursday as fears of a delay in economic recovery due to
rising coronavirus cases in countries easing lockdowns were
exacerbated by dour outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve
    All three major U.S. stock indexes ended lower overnight
after Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned of an "extended period" of
weak economic growth, pointing to uncertainty over how well
future outbreaks of the virus can be controlled.

    "Warnings of prolonged economic weakness by Fed chair Jerome
Powell further dampened sentiment this week, weighing on Wall
Street and likewise to drag Asia markets lower into the end of
week," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG.
    Shares in Singapore, a bellwether for global trade,
fell 1.4% to their lowest level since April 27.
    Consumer stocks dominated the losses, with agri-business
group Wilmar International falling 2.3%, while Resort
operator Genting Singapore slipped 2% after quarterly
earnings tumbled.
    Adding to worries over the pandemic, the World Health
Organization said the coronavirus may never go away.

    The Philippine index dropped 0.8%, set for a third
straight session of losses.
    The country's government said on Wednesday gross domestic
product is expected to decline 2% to 3.4% this year, the first
contraction in more than two decades.
    Shares of conglomerate GT Capital dropped 3.1%,
while those of Ayala Corp were trading 2.8% lower after
it posted a 17% drop in first-quarter profit.  
    In Malaysia, the benchmark edged 0.3% lower after
data showed on Wednesday the economy will contract in the second
quarter as the coronavirus hits exports and domestic demand.

    Among top losers were palm oil planter Sime Darby Plantation
Bhd, which slid 3.1%, and Malaysia Airports
down 2.8%.
For Asian Companies click;  
 STOCK MARKETS AS AT                              
 0340 GMT                                         
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2537.23   2572.01         -1.35
 Bangkok                1281.75   1294.55         -0.99
 Manila                 5578.72   5626.25         -0.84
 Jakarta                4556.198  4554.359        0.04
 Kuala Lumpur           1392.85   1397.13         -0.31
 Ho Chi Minh            830.02    834.21          -0.50
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2537.23   3222.83         -21.27
 Bangkok                1281.75   1579.84         -18.87
 Manila                 5578.72   7,815.26        -28.62
 Jakarta                4556.198  6,299.54        -27.67
 Kuala Lumpur           1392.85   1588.76         -12.33
 Ho Chi Minh            830.02    960.99          -13.63

 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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