March 9, 2020 / 10:13 AM / 25 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Tumble on coronavirus fears, oil price crash

    * Most markets end over 6% lower 
    * Singapore falls most in over 11 years
    * Malaysia hits over 8-yr low
    * Oil prices crash most since 1991

    By Shruti Sonal
    March 9 (Reuters) - Singapore shares fell the most in more
than 11 years on Monday, leading a broad tumble in Southeast
Asian stocks, as fears over the economic impact of the
coronavirus epidemic and a crash in oil prices triggered a steep
sell-off.
    Oil prices plunged as much as 31.5% - the most since 1991 -
after Saudi Arabia started a price war following Russia's
refusal to agree to a further steep cut in oil output.
    Broader Asian markets fell 4.4% in their
worst day since August 2015 as the number of people infected
with the coronavirus topped 110,000 across the world, with the
outbreak reaching more countries and causing more economic
damage.
    "The market continues to be fear- and headline-driven, and
it is difficult to imagine a durable and broad-based recovery in
risk sentiments soon," Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at
Mizuho Bank, said in a note to clients.
    Oil- and coronavirus-driven risks are likely to deepen the
sell-off in Asian markets, he added.
    Denting sentiment further, exports in China - the region's
biggest trading partner - contracted sharply in the first two
months of the year and it ran a trade deficit for the period.

    Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam
ended the day more than 6% lower.
    Thai stocks dived 8% in their worst intraday session
since December 2014, with oil and gas giant PTT PCL
plunging nearly 30%.
    Singapore bourse ended 6% down in its worst session
since October 2008. Petrochemical firm Sembcorp Industries
 tumbled nearly 10% to hit a more than 15-year low.
    Malaysian equities fell 4.1% to hit a more than
eight-year low. Petronas Chemicals Group, unit of
Malaysia's state-owned energy firm Petroliam Nasional          ,
dropped more than 22% to a record low.
    Financial stocks across the region fell, as the double shock
from the virus and slide in oil prices meant more stimulus
measures from global central banks.
    Analysts are expecting another rate cut by the U.S. Federal
Reserve at its scheduled policy meeting on March 18, while the
European Central Bank will also be under intense pressure to act
at its meeting on Thursday.
    The Philippine benchmark shed over 6.8% to hit its
lowest since Jan. 2016, hurt by financials and energy stocks.
    
    

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2782.37   2960.98         -6.03
 Bangkok                1255.94   1364.57         -7.96
 Manila                 6312.61   6770.38         -6.76
 Jakarta                5136.809  5498.54         -6.58
 Kuala Lumpur           1424.16   1483.1          -3.97
 Ho Chi Minh            835.49    891.44          -6.28
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2782.37   3222.83         -13.67
 Bangkok                1255.94   1579.84         -20.50
 Manila                 6312.61   7,815.26        -19.23
 Jakarta                5136.809  6,299.54        -18.46
 Kuala Lumpur           1424.16   1588.76         -10.36
 Ho Chi Minh            835.49    960.99          -13.06
 
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
  
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