March 27, 2020 / 4:22 AM / 3 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain on hopes of more virus stimulus measures

    * Thai government plans "big scheme" of stimulus against
virus
    * Indonesia set for best week in more than 10 years
    * Philippines set for best week since 2001

    By Arpit Nayak
    March 27 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Friday as investors latched on to hopes of further stimulus
measures to dull the economic blow from the coronavirus
pandemic, a day after U.S. unemployment filings surged to a
record high.
    Even as the surge in U.S. jobless claims reflected the
magnitude of the virus' impact on the economy, it gave rise to
hopes for further stimulus measures to tackle the economic
fallout from the outbreak.
    The U.S. House of Representatives is set to pass a massive
$2 trillion stimulus package later on Friday to pump liquidity
into the world's largest economy.
    "Renewed hopes of the $2 trillion fiscal support from the
U.S. reaching the economy in a timelier manner ... helped to
break the recent fall for the market," Jingyi Pan, market
strategist at IG said.
    "The market has clearly taken to the 3.28 million jobless
claims as an indication that the U.S. administration could speed
up the reach of this aid to Americans."
    Indonesian shares jumped 7.7% and were headed for
their best week in more than 10 years.
    Bank Rakyat Indonesia surged 24.8% to mark a
record intraday percentage gain after Bloomberg News reported it
had revived its plan to sell a stake in its life insurance arm.

    The Indonesian government said it was preparing to expand
fiscal stimulus to cushion the economy from disruption due to
the outbreak.
    Singapore gained almost 3% to hit its highest in over
a week and on course for its best week in nearly four years.
    The city-state unveiled a new stimulus package on Thursday
to combat the virus that threatens to push it into a recession.

    Thai equities added 2.4% after the government said
on Friday it was planning a "big scheme" of stimulus to help the
economy hit by the outbreak.            
    Philippines lost as much as 2.3% before paring
losses, but was still set for its best week since 2001 after
robust gains in the three previous sessions.

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0346 GMT
  Change on the                                    
 day                                       
  Market          Current      Previous    Pct Move
                               close       
  Singapore       2557.53      2487.56     2.81
  Bangkok         1114.3       1091.96     2.05
  Manila          5328.84      5401.58     -1.35
  Jakarta         4662.767     4338.904    7.46
  Kuala Lumpur    1349.29      1328.09     1.60
 Ho Chi Minh      695.73       694.21      0.22
                                           
  Change so far                            
 in 2020                                   
  Market          Current      End 2019    Pct Move
  Singapore       2557.53      3222.83     -20.64
  Bangkok         1114.3       1579.84     -29.47
  Manila          5328.84      7,815.26    -31.81
  Jakarta         4662.767     6,299.54    -25.98
  Kuala Lumpur    1349.29      1588.76     -15.07
  Ho Chi Minh     695.73       960.99      -27.60
 
 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
  
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