SE Asia Stocks-Most end higher on Wall Street cues, oil recovery; Thai shares shine

    * Energy stocks lift Thailand, Vietnam
    * Singapore inflation shrinks for second consecutive month
    * Malaysia ends flat

    By Nikhil Subba
    April 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
finished higher on Thursday, with Thailand leading the gains, as
risk sentiment improved backed by a recovery in oil prices and
expectations of a fresh relief package in the United States. 
    Oil rebounded from historic lows as it plunged into sub-zero
levels earlier this week, amid signs that producers are cutting
production to weather a collapse in demand as the coronavirus
outbreak ravages world economies.  
    This, along with expectations of the U.S. Congress approving
a $484 billion coronavirus financial aid later on Thursday, gave
Wall Street a boost overnight, which resultantly spilled over to
the Southeast Asian region.
    "The market, hungry for any news to pick up oil from the
oversold depths, was seen aiding with the climb in crude prices
overnight...the lift for Wall Street expected to
likewise inspire the region," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist
at financial services firm IG.
    The energy sector propped up the Thai index, gaining
the most in the region. It ended 0.85% higher, boosted by a 1.9%
gain in Thai Oil.
    The Vietnamese index was also boosted by energy
stocks, as it ended 0.7% higher. Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock
 gained 2.5%.
    Indonesia, the region's largest economy, saw its benchmark
 finish 0.6% higher, boosted by consumer stocks.
    Unilever Indonesia firmed 5.6% to close to its
highest since March 13, while Indofood settled 1.3%
    The Philippines' index ended 0.5% higher, with SM
Investments Corp advancing 3.3% and Jollibee Foods
 gaining 1.5% at close.
    Meanwhile, the Singaporean benchmark finished the
session 0.3% weaker. Singapore Technologies Engineering
 shed 2.1%, while Jardine Matheson Holdings
slid 1.8% at close.
    Singapore's main price gauge contracted for a second
consecutive month in March, data showed on Thursday, with prices
falling 0.2% from a year earlier.
    The city-state has extended its one-month circuit breaker
for another month until 1 June, which OCBC analysts say implies
significant economic hardship and a deeper recession in the
second quarter of 2020. 
    Malaysia's benchmark closed little changed.
For Asian Companies click;  

  Change on the day                                        
  Market              Current      Previous      Pct Move
  Singapore           2542.37      2550.04       -0.30
  Bangkok             1272.53      1261.81       0.85
  Manila              5599.55      5573.75       0.46
  Jakarta             4593.554     4567.562      0.57
  Kuala Lumpur        1381.64      1381.89       -0.02
 Ho Chi Minh          773.91       768.92        0.65
  Change so far in                               
  Market              Current      End 2019      Pct Move
  Singapore           2542.37      3222.83       -21.11
  Bangkok             1272.53      1579.84       -19.45
  Manila              5599.55      7,815.26      -28.35
  Jakarta             4593.554     6,299.54      -27.08
  Kuala Lumpur        1381.64      1588.76       -13.04
  Ho Chi Minh         773.91       960.99        -19.47
 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi