May 13, 2020 / 4:33 AM / 14 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on fears of second wave of virus infections

    * Philippine 2020 GDP decline to be deeper than forecast
    * Vietnam set to snap six straight session of gains
    * Healthcare boosts Malaysian equities

    By Pranav A K
    May 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets slid
on Wednesday, with Indonesia dropping the most, on worries that
lifting coronavirus lockdowns could lead to a second wave of
infections, delaying an economic recovery.  
    Wall Street tumbled overnight after the top U.S. infectious
disease expert warned that a premature lifting of restrictions
could lead to additional outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

    Stocks in Southeast Asia's biggest economy,
Indonesia, shed 0.9% on Wednesday and were on course for a
second straight session of losses, dragged down by the financial
sector.
    Mandala Multifinance TBK dropped 6.7%, while
Asuransi Bintang TBK gave off 6.7%.
    Equities globally had drawn some comfort in the past few
sessions from plans to gradually ease coronavirus-induced
restrictions, which have halted economic activity. However, a
jump in new cases in China and South Korea has dampened
optimism.      
    Vietnam's index dropped as much as 2.4% earlier in
the day, having gained for the past six sessions.
    The State Bank of Vietnam said late on Tuesday it will cut
its policy rates, making a second cut in less than two months to
prop up an economy hit by the pandemic.
    "Although life in the country appears to be slowly returning
to normal after the lockdown came to an end late last month, a
slump in exports will hit the trade-dependent economy hard this
year," Capital Economics' analyst Gareth Leather said in a note.
     FPT Corp tumbled 10.2% and was the biggest drag on
the benchmark, while Ben Thanh Trading & Service lost
7%.
    Philippine stocks were also lower after the
government said the economy's contraction this year could be
greater than earlier predicted.
    Bucking the trend, Malaysian equities jumped nearly
1%, as healthcare stocks soared, benefiting from a rise in
demand for medical supplies due to the pandemic.
    World's biggest medical gloves maker Top Glove Corp Bhd
 soared 12.5%, while peer Hartalega Holdings
surged 18.2%.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0342 GMT
    
 STOCK MARKETS                                   
 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2577.78  2587.81         -0.39
 Bangkok                1294.18  1299.69         -0.42
 Manila                 5628.45  5651.67         -0.41
 Jakarta                4545.45  4588.734        -0.94
 Kuala Lumpur           1393.77  1379.93         1.00
 Ho Chi Minh            828.86   835.32          -0.77
                                                 
 Change so far in 2020                           
 Market                 Current  End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2577.78  3222.83         -20.02
 Bangkok                1294.18  1579.84         -18.08
 Manila                 5628.45  7,815.26        -27.98
 Jakarta                4545.45  6,299.54        -27.84
 Kuala Lumpur           1393.77  1588.76         -12.27
 Ho Chi Minh            828.86   960.99          -13.75
 


 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)
  
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