February 12, 2020 / 10:16 AM / 15 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore, Thailand jump 1% as new virus cases fall; Malaysia down

    * Malaysia Q4 GDP growth slows to decade-low
    * Indonesia hits over 1-wk low
    * Singapore leads gainers, up over 1.4%

    By Arundhati Dutta
    Feb 12 (Reuters) - Singapore and Thailand stocks rose over
1% on Wednesday on hopes that the worst of the coronavirus
outbreak in China might be over, while Malaysia shares fell as
data showed its fourth-quarter economic growth had slumped to a
decade-low.
    China reported the lowest number of new virus cases since
late January on Wednesday, supporting the country's senior
medical advisor's prediction that the epidemic would be over by
April.  
    Singaporean shares closed 1.5% higher, with
heavyweight financial stocks United Overseas Bank and
DBS Group Holdings gaining more than 1%.     
    Malaysian equities slipped 0.6% after data showed
southeast Asia's third-largest economy grew 3.6% in
October-December from the same period a year earlier, prompting
the central bank to signal 'ample room' for rate cuts.

    Financials were top losers, with Hong Leong Bank
and Public Bank shedding 4.3% and 2.8%, respectively. 
    Malaysia's lacklustre GDP data and Singapore's collapsing
tourist numbers have increased the odds of monetary easing by
the countries' central banks, said Jeffrey Halley, market
analyst at OANDA, in a note.
    Singapore expects visitor numbers to decline by about 25-30%
this year due to the virus outbreak, the city state's tourism
board said on Tuesday.    
    Indonesian stocks dropped 0.7%, hitting its lowest
level in about one week, weighed down by consumer stocks.
Instant noodles maker PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk
 tumbled 6%. 
    The country's health minister asserted on Tuesday that
Indonesia was not hiding anything over coronavirus, after U.S.
researchers said that infections may have gone undetected in
Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
    Indonesia remains the only country in Southeast Asia with no
confirmed virus cases, despite having had direct flights to
Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus. 
    The Thai index ended 1% higher, marking its best day
in a week, lifted by financial companies. The Siam Commercial
Bank and Kasikornbank were up 4.6% and 1.8%,
respectively.  
    Philippines closed 0.8% lower, while Vietnam
ended up 0.3%. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS   
    
    
 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3223.37   3175.57         1.51
 Bangkok                1539.84   1523.93         1.04
 Manila                 7383.1    7439.4          -0.76
 Jakarta                5913.081  5954.397        -0.69
 Kuala Lumpur           1542.94   1551.48         -0.55
 Ho Chi Minh            937.68    934.67          0.32
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3223.37   3222.83         0.02
 Bangkok                1539.84   1579.84         -2.53
 Manila                 7383.1    7,815.26        -5.53
 Jakarta                5913.081  6,299.54        -6.13
 Kuala Lumpur           1542.94   1588.76         -2.88
 Ho Chi Minh            937.68    960.99          -2.43
                                                  
 
 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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