January 23, 2020 / 4:45 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most subdued ahead of holidays, Philippines gains 1%

    * China virus outbreak hurts risk sentiment
    * Healthcare and consumer stocks hurt Malaysia
    * Indonesia slightly higher ahead of cenbank policy meet

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Jan 23 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks rose over 1% on
Thursday as investors picked up beaten down names, while most
markets in the region were subdued ahead of Lunar New Year
holidays and the evolving situation over the coronavirus
outbreak in China - the region's largest trading partner.
    Philippine stocks saw their best day in almost three weeks
after falling over 2% so far this week. 
    "I would look into the performance over the last few days,
which is mostly weak, so today's bounce back mostly looks like
bargain hunting from investors," said Charles William Ang,
associate analyst at COL Financial Group.
    Gains in financial and consumer sectors helped prop up
Philippines. Real estate developer Ayala Land advanced
2.3%, while packaged food producer Universal Robina Corp
 rose 1.2%.
    The Philippine central bank said gross domestic product
(GDP) growth of 7% was attainable for 2020, while data showed
December quarter GDP up 6.4% year-on-year.
    Other markets in southeast Asia were subdued as the death
toll from the coronavirus rose to 17, while the World Health
Organization (WHO) said it will decide on Thursday whether to
declare a global emergency over the outbreak.
    Malaysian shares were lower, hurt by losses in the
healthcare and consumer sectors.
    Latex glove manufacturer Hartalega Holdings fell
1.7%, while plantation co Kuala Lumpur Kepong lost
    Indonesian stocks edged slightly higher, helped by
gains in consumer stocks and ahead of a central bank policy
meeting later in the day.
    A Reuters poll showed Bank Indonesia was likely to hold
rates, while the central bank governor has promised to continue
on a "accommodative monetary policy".
    A surprise rate cut by Malaysia's central bank yesterday
might "give Bank Indonesia additional confidence to lower its
policy rate," Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients.
    The Vietnam bourse was closed for a public holiday.
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  STOCK MARKETS                                         
  Change on the                                         
  Market            Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore         3249.06       3253.93      -0.15
  Bangkok           1576.52       1574.59      0.12
  Manila            7534.64       7468.73      0.88
  Jakarta           6246.092      6233.453     0.20
  Kuala Lumpur      1574.8        1587.33      -0.79
  Change so far in                             
  Market            Current       End 2019     Pct Move
  Singapore         3249.06       3222.83      0.81
  Bangkok           1576.52       1579.84      -0.21
  Manila            7534.64       7,815.26     -3.59
  Jakarta           6246.092      6,299.54     -0.85
  Kuala Lumpur      1574.8        1588.76      -0.88
  Ho Chi Minh       991.46        960.99       3.17
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
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