February 25, 2020 / 10:21 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Slightly higher as markets stabilise, virus fears linger

    * South Korea takes steps to detect infections
    * Singapore snaps three straight sessions of losses
    * Consumer, resources shares weigh on Indonesia

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Feb 25 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
marginally higher on Tuesday after a selloff in the previous
session, even as concerns over the rapid spread of the
coronavirus remained.
    Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Afghanistan and Iraq reported their
first cases, while South Korea, which has the most virus cases
outside China, said it aims to test more than 200,000 members of
a church at the centre of a surge in the infections.

    "I don't think this (rise in markets) has got any
longevity," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
    "It's what I call a dead cat bounce... that I think will run
out of steam very quickly against the bigger global backdrop."
    Indonesia was an exception, with the benchmark index
closing at its lowest in over 15 months weighed down by losses
in the consumer and resources sector.
    Chemicals maker Chandra Asri Petrochemical fell
9.5%, while cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna
dropped 2.4%.
     Malaysian shares, which closed at an over
eight-year low on Monday amid political turmoil, ended 0.7%
higher, helped by gains in the banking and healthcare sectors.
    Lender Malayan Banking rose 1% and hospitals
operator IHH Healthcare gained 1.6%.
    Singapore stocks snapped three straight sessions of
losses, helped by gains in benchmark heavyweights
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and Capitaland Ltd
.
     Thai stocks ended slightly higher, recovering from
an over three-year low hit earlier in the session.
    "The Thai market is very volatile today, with news from
external fronts being followed. Going ahead, I think a lot
depends on the developments in the COVID-19 outbreak," said
Teerada Charnyingyong, an analyst with Phillip Capital Thailand.
    The Philippine bourse was closed on account of a public
holiday.


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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS 
  Market            Current       Previous     Pct Move
                                  close        
  Singapore         3158.24       3142.2       0.51
  Bangkok           1439.1        1435.56      0.25
  Jakarta           5787.138      5807.05      -0.34
  Kuala Lumpur      1500.88       1490.06      0.73
 Ho Chi Minh        909.67        903.34       0.70
                                               
  Change so far in                             
 2020                                          
  Market            Current       End 2019     Pct Move
  Singapore         3158.24       3222.83      -2.00
  Bangkok           1439.1        1579.84      -8.91
  Manila            7187.44       7,815.26     -8.03
  Jakarta           5787.138      6,299.54     -8.13
  Kuala Lumpur      1500.88       1588.76      -5.53
  Ho Chi Minh       909.67        960.99       -5.34
 

 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj
Kalluvila)
  
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