SE Asia Stocks-Most gain on U.S. stimulus boost, Singapore down on growth outlook cut

    * Singapore Q1 GDP contracts more than expected
    * Singapore set to announce additional stimulus package
    * Indonesia set for best day in 6-1/2 years

    By Arpit Nayak
    March 26 (Reuters) - Most South East Asian stocks rose on
optimism around a massive U.S. stimulus package, although
Singapore shares fell after the city-state cut its annual growth
forecast to better reflect the economic damage from the
coronavirus pandemic.
    The U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a
$2-trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and
industries hurt by the virus outbreak.
    Indonesian stocks were poised for their best session
in 6-1/2 years, playing catch-up after a holiday to surge 7.5%
to make up for the heavy buying in the region it missed on
    The financial and consumer sectors drove gains, with Bank
Central Asia jumping 19.9% and household goods maker
Unilever Indonesia surging 14.1%.
    Philippine shares gained 4.9%, with property
developers SM Prime Holdings Inc and Ayala Land
 gaining 9.6% and 6.7%, respectively.
    The Malaysian index moved 0.7% higher, with gains
led by telecom and utilities stocks, while Thai equities
added 0.5%. 
    Thailand has put into effect a state of emergency until the
end of April, sealing off its borders from non-resident
foreigners to contain the virus, though it held off on
restricting people's movement inside the country
    At odds with the regional trend, Singapore stocks
eased as much as 2.9% after its economy contracted more than
expected in the first quarter.
    However, the index pared most losses to trade 0.7% lower as
the passage of the U.S. stimulus bill boosted confidence. 
    Singapore also cut its full-year GDP forecast and is set to
announce more relief measures later in the day, weeks after
unleashing multi-billion dollar packages. 
    "The probability of (Singapore) entering a technical
recession... is rising as consumer-based services are likely to
take a hit following the introduction of more restrictive
measures," Zhu Huani, analyst at Mizuho Bank said in an note.
    Financial and telecom stocks led declines, with lender DBS
Group Holdings and telecom operator Singapore
Telecommunications losing 3.6% and 5%, respectively.  
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  Change on the                                    
  Market          Current      Previous    Pct Move
  Singapore       2488.53      2505.47     -0.68
  Bangkok         1081.47      1080.03     0.13
  Manila          5275.85      5027.76     4.93
  Jakarta         4230.229     3937.632    7.43
  Kuala Lumpur    1331.97      1324.5      0.56
 Ho Chi Minh      696.49       690.25      0.90
  Change so far                            
 in 2020                                   
  Market          Current      End 2019    Pct Move
  Singapore       2488.53      3222.83     -22.78
  Bangkok         1081.47      1579.84     -31.55
  Manila          5275.85      7,815.26    -32.49
  Jakarta         4230.229     6,299.54    -32.85
  Kuala Lumpur    1331.97      1588.76     -16.16
  Ho Chi Minh     696.49       960.99      -27.52

 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Devika Syamnath)