March 12, 2020 / 10:19 AM / 20 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Tumble as Trump's travel ban triggers sell-off; Thailand dives 11%

    * Drops in Thailand and Indonesia trigger circuit breakers
    * Indonesia and Vietnam enter bear market territory
    * Philippines sees worst day since 2008 financial crisis
    * Thai index posts biggest pct drop since 2006 rout

    By Shruti Sonal
    March 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
ravaged on Thursday after the United States suspended travel
from Europe as coronavirus cases across the world spiralled,
sparking worries that rising restrictions would hammer economic
    Thailand's near 11% drop and Indonesia's 5%
decline triggered circuit breakers, leading to trading being
halted for a period of time. Indonesia, along with Vietnam
, also dived into bear territory - a period signalling
drawn-out negative investor sentiment.
    Philippines tumbled about 10%, while Singapore
lost nearly 4%.
    Markets were rattled and tourism stocks lost ground after
U.S. President Donald Trump suspended all travel from Europe to
the United States, barring the United Kingdom.
    The absence of large-scale tax breaks or medical tests for
Americans in Trump's announcement also disappointed investors,
who had expected concrete measures to cushion the economic
impact of the outbreak.
    "President Trump's speech was notable for what it didn't
contain, rather than what it did", said Jeffrey Halley, senior
market analyst at OANDA.
    Worries about the economic fallout from the virus also
deepened after the World Health Organization described the virus
as a pandemic.
    "Even though we do have substantial support coming through
from governments and central banks alike, the dispersion of the
virus so far continues to mark the risks of dragging the global
economy into recession", said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at
    Stocks in tourism-dependent Thailand crashed nearly 11%, the
most since December 2006, on a day when the country reported its
biggest daily rise in virus infections since the outbreak began.

    The Philippine benchmark saw its worst session since
the 2008 financial crisis, slumping as much as 9.7%.
    Singapore stocks fell 3.8% to their lowest in more
than four years, as economists predicted that the city-state's
economy would shrink sharply in the first quarter.
    Indonesian stocks fell 5% before a circuit breaker
halted trading for 30 minutes, effectively ending trade just
before the bell. 
    The index has shed more than 22% from a record peak touched
on Jan. 15, even as the government announced tax relief measures
for manufacturing.

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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2678.64   2783.72         -3.77
 Bangkok                1114.91   1249.89         -10.80
 Manila                 5736.27   6353.26         -9.71
 Jakarta                4895.748  5154.105        -5.01
 Kuala Lumpur           1419.43   1443.83         -1.69
 Ho Chi Minh            769.25    811.35          -5.19
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2678.64   3222.83         -16.89
 Bangkok                1114.91   1579.84         -29.43
 Manila                 5736.27   7,815.26        -26.60
 Jakarta                4895.748  6,299.54        -22.28
 Kuala Lumpur           1419.43   1588.76         -10.66
 Ho Chi Minh            769.25    960.99          -19.95
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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