March 24, 2020 / 9:58 AM / 7 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rebound on steps to numb virus impact; Thailand to declare emergency

    * Thailand to declare month-long emergency
    * Thai cabinet approves $3.3 bln stimulus package
    * Philippines says economy may contract on virus impact

    By Arpit Nayak
    March 24 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
rebounded on Tuesday as global and regional stimulus measures to
stem the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic lifted
investor sentiment, while Thailand prepared to enter a
month-long emergency.
    Thai shares gained on the back of a massive stimulus
package to combat the outbreak's impact, even as the government
said it would declare an emergency on Thursday to deal with the
virus outbreak.
    The U.S. Federal Reserve on Monday committed to unlimited
dollar funding in a bid to ease credit strains and cushion the
virus' impact on the economy.
    "We are cautiously optimistic that the combination of Fed
actions and government spending will blunt the worst of the
COVID-19 crisis," analysts at DBS Group Research said.
    In keeping with global efforts, Southeast Asian countries
attempted to counter the pandemic's financial impact through a
range of monetary and fiscal policy measures.
    The Philippines bourse ended 0.7% higher, after the
central bank approved a plan to buy government securities to
shore up liquidity.
    Gains were capped as the country said its economy might
contract this year for the first time in more than two decades
due to the fallout from the outbreak.
    Singapore's index recovered from a steep sell-off in
the previous session to climb 5.8%, while Malaysian shares
 gained 2.5%.
    Indonesia's index eased 1.3% after the government
said it may need to exceed the 3% legal limit on its budget
deficit in response to the economic damage from the virus.

    The central bank said it had bought government bonds worth
165 trillion rupiah ($10.03 billion) from foreign sellers to
stabilise the market.
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 Change on the day                                  
 Market                 Current     Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2,362.05    2,233.48        5.76
 Bangkok                1,033.84    1,024.46        0.92
 Manila                 4,774.27    4,743.37        0.65
 Jakarta                3,937.632   3,989.517       -1.30
 Kuala Lumpur           1,291.14    1,259.88        2.48
 Ho Chi Minh            659.21      666.59          -1.11
 Change so far in 2020                              
 Market                 Current     End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2,362.05    3,222.83        -26.71
 Bangkok                1,033.84    1,579.84        -34.56
 Manila                 4,774.27    7,815.26        -38.91
 Jakarta                3,937.632   6,299.54        -37.49
 Kuala Lumpur           1,291.14    1,588.76        -18.73
 Ho Chi Minh            659.21      960.99          -31.40
 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
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