March 2, 2020 / 11:16 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Close weaker on bleak China data; Indonesia dives nearly 2%

    * China Feb factory activity contracts at record pace
    * Malaysian equities at over 8-year low
    * Indonesia confirms first coronavirus case, index leads
losses

    By Anushka Trivedi
    March 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended
lower on Monday as Chinese data showed its fastest ever
contraction in factory activity, signalling the impact of the
coronavirus on its economy, while Indonesia fell 1.7% after
confirming its first virus case.    
    Weekend data from China - the biggest trading partner for
Southeast Asia - fuelled concerns over the economic impact from
the outbreak that had sent markets into a tailspin last week and
wiped trillions of dollars from equities.
    The outlook for the world's second-biggest economy appears
grim, despite resumption of factory production in March as it
"will face the risk of a low level of export orders. This is
because the supply chain will continue to be broken," said Iris
Pang, economist at ING, in a note. 
    "We may revise our GDP forecast downward for first quarter
if other activity data reflect a similar weakness," Pang added.
    The Indonesian index hit its lowest close since
February 2017 following reports that two Indonesians had tested
positive for coronavirus, while yield on the benchmark 10-year
government bond rose to its highest in more than
seven weeks.
    To stabilise its financial markets, Bank Indonesia unveiled
a series of measures, including stepping up the volume of
intervention and cutting reserve requirements to free up money
in the banking system.
    The Malaysian benchmark index slid 1.1% to its
lowest in more than eight years amid continued uncertainty about
the country's political future as former prime minister Mahathir
Mohamad sought an urgent parliament session to test newly
anointed PM Muhyiddin Yassin's claim to majority.
    Palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantations and
lender CIMB Group Bhd were the top drags in the
Malaysian index as they plunged 4.6% each. 
    CIMB on Friday had reported a 24.2% decline in its quarterly
net profit.
    Philippine equities closed at their lowest since
December 2016, dented by losses in consumer and utility stocks.
    Singapore shares traded largely flat throughout the
session to end marginally lower. 

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS    
    
                                                  
 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3007.72   3011.08         -0.11
 Bangkok                1335.72   1340.52         -0.36
 Manila                 6749.28   6787.91         -0.57
 Jakarta                5361.246  5452.704        -1.68
 Kuala Lumpur           1466.94   1482.64         -1.06
 Ho Chi Minh            884.43    882.19           0.25
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3007.72   3222.83         -6.67
 Bangkok                1335.72   1579.84         -15.45
 Manila                 6749.28   7,815.26        -13.64
 Jakarta                5361.246  6,299.54        -14.89
 Kuala Lumpur           1466.94   1588.76         -7.67
 Ho Chi Minh            884.43    960.99          -7.97
                                                  
 
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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