SE Asia Stocks-Mixed as grim warnings for global economy offsets Chinese rate cut

    * Indonesia top loser, down 1.7%
    * Philippines hits highest close in over a month, up nearly
    * Drop in oil prices pressuring Thai energy sector - analyst

    By Arundhati Dutta
    April 15 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks ended mixed on
Wednesday, with losses led by Indonesia and Thailand, as
warnings of a global recession and a sharp decline in oil prices
offset a key interest rate cut by the Chinese central bank. 
    The global economy is expected to shrink by 3.0% this year
in a stunning coronavirus-driven collapse of activity that will
mark the steepest downturn since the Great Depression, the
International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
    However, a cut to medium-term lending rates by the People's
Bank of China and reports that several states in the U.S. are
planning to reopen for business pushed benchmark indices in
Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines
   The Indonesian benchmark tumbled 1.7%, with
communication services and financials the top losers. PT
Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk shed 4%. 
    Late on Tuesday, Indonesia's central bank announced a cut in
the amount of cash banks must hold in reserve to boost liquidity
in its virus-stricken economy, but opted to keep interest rates
steady as it awaits more stability in the rupiah.
    "The central bank surprised the market by maintaining its
benchmark rate. I think the decision not to cut the benchmark
rate is a worrying move amidst weakening domestic economy due to
coronavirus," said Hariyanto Wijaya, head of research at Mirae
Asset Sekuritas. 
    Thai shares lost 1.6%, dragged by energy stocks. PTT
Pcl and PTT Exploration and Production Pcl
lost 1.4% and 3.4%, respectively. 
    "I think it is due to profit-taking as investors shift focus
to the upcoming Q1 2020 earnings this week from the banking
sector," said Kasikorn Securities strategist Sunthorn Thongthip.
    He added that a drop in oil prices was also pressuring the
energy sector. 
    Oil fell 5% to around $28 a barrel on Wednesday, owing to
persistent oversupply concerns.
    Singaporean stocks closed 1.1% lower, with losses in
heavyweight financials such as the United Overseas Bank
 and DBS Group Holdings weighing on the
    On the upside, Philippine equities added 2.9% and hit
their highest close in over a month. The index was boosted by
gains in big cap conglomerates such as Ayala Land and
Ayala Corp .  
    Shares in Vietnam closed up 1.3%, with gains
underpinned by financials. 
    The Malaysian index ended 1.2% higher. 
For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                        
  Change on the                                        
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        2605.56       2634.57      -1.10
  Bangkok          1236.1        1256.35      -1.61
  Manila           5946.05       5780.88      2.86
  Jakarta          4625.905      4706.491     -1.71
  Kuala Lumpur     1387.79       1371.66      1.18
 Ho Chi Minh       777.22        767.41       1.28
  Change so far                               
 in 2020                                      
  Market           Current       End 2019     Pct Move
  Singapore        2605.56       3222.83      -19.15
  Bangkok          1236.1        1579.84      -21.76
  Manila           5946.05       7,815.26     -23.92
  Jakarta          4625.905      6,299.54     -26.57
  Kuala Lumpur     1387.79       1588.76      -12.65
  Ho Chi Minh      777.22        960.99       -19.12

 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)