March 6, 2020 / 9:28 AM / 22 days ago

CORRECTED-SE Asia Stocks-Fall as virus fuels slowdown fears; Singapore hits over 1-yr low

 (Corrects to say gross domestic product "growth" in paragraph
    * Outbreak could slash global GDP by 0.1% to 0.4% - ADB
    * Singapore share hit over 1-yr low
    * Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia end about 2% lower

    By Shruti Sonal
    March 6 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended
sharply lower on Friday as the spread of coronavirus stoked
fears of a global economic slowdown, with Singapore shares
closing at their lowest in more than a year amid recession
    Broader Asian markets tracked Wall Street lower as deaths
from the virus rose in the United States and elsewhere, taking
the toll worldwide to more than 3,200. 
    "What was initially seen as a China-centric shock is now
certainly a global concern," said Westpac senior economist
Elliot Clarke.
    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the outbreak could cut
global gross domestic product growth by 0.1% to 0.4% this year.

    Adding to worries, S&P Global Ratings flagged a slowdown in
growth in the Asia-Pacific region to 4% in 2020, the lowest
since the global financial crisis, with Singapore and Thailand
being among the worst-hit.
    Financials across Southeast Asia were in the red, as further
rate cuts seemed likely in a bid to shield economies from the
impact of the outbreak.
    "We are just at the start of the rate-cut cycle and entering
an uncharted territory. Banks, which are heavyweights in most
countries, are likely to face the brunt of the cuts and drag
down indexes," said Joel Ng, a Singapore-based analyst at KGI
    The Singapore benchmark index edged over more than
1.7% lower to close at its lowest since October 2018 amid
mounting fears of a recession, which led ING analysts to cut
their forecast for annual economic growth to 0.3% from 1%.
    "We think a couple of quarters of GDP contraction, both on a
yearly and quarterly basis, now look inevitable. Accordingly, we
see -0.3% and -0.5% year-on-year fall in the first and second
quarters, respectively", they added.
    DBS Group Holdings, Southeast Asia's largest
lender, shed more than 2% to hit its lowest level in more than a
    Thai stocks slipped nearly 2%, with index
heavyweight Siam Commercial Bank hitting its lowest
since July 2010.
    The tourism-dependent economy's first quarter economic
performance will 'not be good' as the coronavirus outbreak hurts
activity, a government official said on Friday.
    The Philippine benchmark slid 1.7%, while Indonesian
equities closed over 2% lower. 

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 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2965.73  3018.27         -1.74
 Bangkok                1367.57  1390.83         -1.67
 Manila                 6770.38  6884.77         -1.66
 Jakarta                5498.54  5638.13         -2.48
 Kuala Lumpur           1483.1   1491.03         -0.53
 Ho Chi Minh            891.44   893.31          -0.21
 Change so far in 2020                           
 Market                 Current  End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2965.73  3222.83         -7.98
 Bangkok                1367.57  1579.84         -13.44
 Manila                 6770.38  7,815.26        -13.37
 Jakarta                5498.54  6,299.54        -12.72
 Kuala Lumpur           1483.1   1588.76         -6.65
 Ho Chi Minh            891.44   960.99          -7.24
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal)
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