January 29, 2020 / 4:49 AM / 20 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets climb after Tuesday's selloff; virus fears linger

    * Malaysia down for seventh consecutive session
    * Thailand up after seven straight session of falls
    * Philippines declines for third session in a row

    By Arpit Nayak
    Jan 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
slightly on Wednesday after a steep selloff in the previous
session, but worries over the rapid spread of the coronavirus in
China and its potential economic impact continued to weigh on
investor sentiment.
    The death toll from the virus outbreak rose sharply to 132
with nearly 1,500 new cases, and countries continued to impose
travel curbs and pull out nationals from Wuhan as fears over the
virus grew.
    Caution will remain in the market until China contains the
outbreak, said KGI Securities analyst Joel Ng.
    "Most investors are still assessing its impact on economic
growth," he said, adding that Thailand, Cambodia and Hong Kong
would be hit as the virus is likely to affect 50% of outgoing
Chinese tourists.
    Asian equities advanced in early trade, tracking Wall
Street's gains and after the World Health Organisation expressed
confidence in China's ability to contain the spread of the
virus.
    However, they lost momentum as Hong Kong played
catch-up with the rest of Asia, dropping nearly 3% on opening
after the Lunar New Year holiday.
    Singapore shares climbed after Tuesday's near 2%
drop, helped by industrial and consumer stocks. 
    Jardine Strategic Holdings rose nearly 1.4%, while
beer manufacturer Thai Beverage tacked on 1.9%.
    Philippine shares were headed for a third straight
session of losses, with financials and industrials being the
major drags on the index. 
    Conglomerates Ayala Corp and JG Summit Holdings
 lost 1% and 2.4%, respectively.
    Malaysian shares were on track for a seventh
straight session of losses, as healthcare and utilities stocks
ran out of steam after a robust performance in the previous
session.
    Glove makers Hartalega Holdings and Top Glove Corp
 fell 2.9% and 3.7%, respectively, while hospital owner
IHH Healthcare lost 1%.
    Electricity supplier Tenaga Nasional, the
third-largest stock on the index, dipped over 1.7%.
    Indonesian shares added 0.7%, buoyed by a 1.8% gain
in telecom giant Telekomunikasi Indonesia. 
    Tobacco company Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna rose
1.4%, while petrochemical firm Chandra Asri Petrochemical
 added about 2%.
    Thai stocks rose after seven consecutive sessions of
falls, helped by financial and real estate stocks, while firm
oil prices also provided some support to heavyweight energy
stocks.
    Meanwhile, data showed December factory output contracted
for an eighth straight month but was better than a Reuters poll
forecast.    
    Vietnam remained closed on account of the Lunar New
Year holiday. Trading will resume on Thursday.    

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0346 GMT
 
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3189.24   3181.25         0.25
 Bangkok                1526.09   1513.26         0.85
 Manila                 7445.62   7468.7          -0.31
 Jakarta                6123.703  6111.184        0.20
 Kuala Lumpur           1550.47   1551.64         -0.08
                                                  
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3189.24   3222.83         -1.04
 Bangkok                1526.09   1579.84         -3.40
 Manila                 7445.62   7,815.26        -4.73
 Jakarta                6123.703  6,299.54        -2.79
 Kuala Lumpur           1550.47   1588.76         -2.41
 Ho Chi Minh            991.46    960.99          3.17
 

 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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