January 24, 2020 / 9:57 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets end lower as China virus anxiety lingers

    * Trading down as week-long Lunar New Year holiday begins
    * Losses in utility, energy sectors hurt Thai stocks
    * Singapore index marks biggest weekly drop since October 

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Jan 24 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
lower on Friday as concerns over an escalating coronavirus
outbreak in China - the region's biggest trading partner -
bruised risk sentiment and as the week-long Lunar New Year
holiday kicked off.
    China on Friday stepped up measures to contain the virus
that had killed 25 people and infected more than 800, with
public transport suspensions in 10 cities.
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an health
emergency for China but stopped short of declaring an
international health emergency, even as millions geared up for
travel during the Chinese New Year week that could accelerate
the contagion's spread.
    "Market sentiment continues to be overshadowed by reports of
more cases of the Wuhan virus," ING Bank said in a note to
clients.
    Trade activity was slow across Southeast Asian markets as
the week-long holiday began, with China and Vietnam being closed
and only partial trading in Singapore and Malaysia.
    Losses in utilities and energy sectors weighed on the Thai
index, with the bourse losing 2% for the week.
    Global Power Synergy ended 3.6% lower, while gas
explorer PTT PCL fell 1.1%.
    Singapore shares ended firmer after data showed that
the city-state's industrial output, as expected, fell slightly
in December but not as steep as the previous month. 

    Telecom and real estate sectors helped lift the Singapore
index on Friday, though the benchmark marked its biggest weekly
drop since October last year.    
    Malaysian stocks dropped for the fifth straight
session to lose 1.4% over the week, with telecom co Maxis Bhd
 dropping 1.6%, while hospitality co Genting Malaysia
Bhd ended 2.5% lower.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
  STOCK MARKETS                                         
  Change on the                                         
 day                                           
  Market            Current       Previous     Pct Move
                                  close        
  Singapore         3240.02       3234.56      0.17
  Bangkok           1569.55       1573.7       -0.26
  Manila            7623.41       7616.35      0.09
  Jakarta           6244.109      6249.21      -0.08
  Kuala Lumpur      1572.81       1574.44      -0.10
                                               
  Change so far in                             
 2020                                          
  Market            Current       End 2019     Pct Move
  Singapore         3240.02       3222.83      0.53
  Bangkok           1569.55       1579.84      -0.65
  Manila            7623.41       7,815.26     -2.45
  Jakarta           6244.109      6,299.54     -0.88
  Kuala Lumpur      1572.81       1588.76      -1.00
  Ho Chi Minh       991.46        960.99       3.17
 

 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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