February 26, 2020 / 11:01 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Thrashed by pandemic fears, Thailand, Philippines plunge

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Feb 26 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were a sea
of red on Wednesday as the spread of the coronavirus beyond
China accelerated dumping of Asian assets, with the Thai bourse
recording its biggest drop in six years.
     Hundreds of new coronavirus cases were reported across the
region on Wednesday, mostly in South Korea, spurring pandemic
fears that have jolted markets this week.
    Thailand's health minister said on Wednesday that one of
three new coronavirus patients in the country risked becoming a
super-spreader, an incident of large transmission from a single
    The baht slid to a nine-month low and the benchmark stock
index plunged 5% to its lowest since late 2016. That ran
ahead of big drops in Manila, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City.
    "Seeing how Korea is blowing up, (Thai) markets seems to be
hoping for the best but planning for the worst," said Kobsidthi
Silpachai, head of capital markets research of Kasikornbank in
   "The dramatic surge in Korean cases questions the
authenticity of the low reported cases in Thailand... we don't
know if Thailand's hot weather is actually suppressing the
spread, or the sad truth has not yet been revealed."
    Sentiment was further dampened by Thailand's dismal
manufacturing production data that contracted for a ninth
straight month in January.
    Philippine stocks dropped to their lowest close in
over 15 months in "pent-up selling" as trading resumed after a
holiday, said Rachelle Cruz, an analyst with AP Securities.
    Sentiment was also hurt by China's latest attempt to crack
down on Manila-based online gambling firms (POGOs) as local
media reported here
 that mass deportations of Chinese nationals working at POGOs
could be on the cards.
    Bourses in Bangkok and Manila have dropped 8% and 6% so far
this week, respectively.
    Indonesian shares fell to their lowest close in
nearly 18 months, while financial and industrial stocks weighed
on the Singapore benchmark.
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market                  Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore               3117.52       3158.24      -1.29
  Bangkok                 1366.41       1439.1       -5.05
  Manila                  6909.84       7187.44      -3.86
  Jakarta                 5688.921      5787.138     -1.70
  Kuala Lumpur            1495.19       1500.88      -0.38
 Ho Chi Minh              895.97        909.67       -1.51
  Change so far in 2020                              
  Market                  Current       End 2019     Pct Move
  Singapore               3117.52       3222.83      -3.27
  Bangkok                 1366.41       1579.84      -13.51
  Manila                  6909.84       7,815.26     -11.59
  Jakarta                 5688.921      6,299.54     -9.69
  Kuala Lumpur            1495.19       1588.76      -5.89
  Ho Chi Minh             895.97        960.99       -6.77
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, additional reporting
by Orathai Siring in Bangkok; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)
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