SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on U.S. stimulus boost; Singapore falls on recession signal

    * Singapore announces $30 bln package as GDP contracts in Q1
    * Indonesia sees best day since June 1999
    * Philippines sees best day since Aug. 2007

    By Arpit Nayak
    March 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
posted gains on Thursday as investors cheered a massive U.S.
stimulus package to soften the coronavirus pandemic's economic
blow, although Singapore fell after signalling a severe
    Singaporean equities ended 0.7% lower as the
city-state cut its annual growth forecast to account for the
impact of the virus after data showed the economy's
first-quarter contraction was the worst in a decade.

    The index pared some losses after the city-state unveiled
new measures worth more than $30 billion to help businesses and
households cushion the pandemic's financial hit.
    The new measures include a draw on national reserves for the
first time since the global financial crisis.    
    "The latest set of figures has confirmed our fear that a
recession is inevitable amid the impact from the Covid-19
outbreak," DBS Group Research analyst Irvin Seah wrote in a
note, referring to Singapore.
    Calling the services sector a drag on growth, Seah said, "If
the services sector falls, the economy follows." The industry
accounts for the bulk of jobs and is one of the biggest
contributors to gross domestic product.
    Meanwhile, the rest of the region rode a wave of optimism
after the U.S. senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill in a
bid to aid unemployed workers and industries hurt by the
    The Indonesian bourse, which was closed for trading
on account of a local holiday on Wednesday, recorded its best
session in over two decades, with a 10.2% gain.
    In an added boost to sentiment, the central bank said it was
ensuring the financial system had sufficient liquidity even as
it prepared to implement shorter trading hours to contain the
    Philippines climbed 7.4% in its best session in
almost 13 years, with real estate and consumer stocks leading
    Thai stocks gained 1.1% as the central bank pledged
liquidity support to money markets and daily fixed income funds
that are hit by a cash crunch.
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 Change on the day                                  
 Market                 Current     Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2,487.56    2,505.47        -0.71
 Bangkok                1,091.96    1,080.03        1.10
 Manila                 5,401.58    5,027.76        7.44
 Jakarta                4,338.904   3,937.632       10.19
 Kuala Lumpur           1,328.09    1,324.5         0.27
 Ho Chi Minh            694.21      690.25          0.57
 Change so far in 2020                              
 Market                 Current     End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2,487.56    3,222.83        -22.81
 Bangkok                1,091.96    1,579.84        -30.88
 Manila                 5,401.58    7,815.26        -30.88
 Jakarta                4,338.904   6,299.54        -31.12
 Kuala Lumpur           1,328.09    1,588.76        -16.41
 Ho Chi Minh            694.21      960.99          -27.76
 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Anil D'Silva)