CORRECTED-SE Asia Stocks-Fall as virus fuels slowdown fears; Singapore hits over 1-yr low

By Shruti Sonal

(Corrects to say gross domestic product "growth" in paragraph 4) * Outbreak could slash global GDP by 0.1% to 0.4% - ADB * Singapore share hit over 1-yr low * Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia end about 2% lower By Shruti Sonal March 6 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended sharply lower on Friday as the spread of coronavirus stoked fears of a global economic slowdown, with Singapore shares closing at their lowest in more than a year amid recession concerns. Broader Asian markets tracked Wall Street lower as deaths from the virus rose in the United States and elsewhere, taking the toll worldwide to more than 3,200. "What was initially seen as a China-centric shock is now certainly a global concern," said Westpac senior economist Elliot Clarke. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the outbreak could cut global gross domestic product growth by 0.1% to 0.4% this year. Adding to worries, S&P Global Ratings flagged a slowdown in growth in the Asia-Pacific region to 4% in 2020, the lowest since the global financial crisis, with Singapore and Thailand being among the worst-hit. Financials across Southeast Asia were in the red, as further rate cuts seemed likely in a bid to shield economies from the impact of the outbreak. "We are just at the start of the rate-cut cycle and entering an uncharted territory. Banks, which are heavyweights in most countries, are likely to face the brunt of the cuts and drag down indexes," said Joel Ng, a Singapore-based analyst at KGI Securities. The Singapore benchmark index edged over more than 1.7% lower to close at its lowest since October 2018 amid mounting fears of a recession, which led ING analysts to cut their forecast for annual economic growth to 0.3% from 1%. "We think a couple of quarters of GDP contraction, both on a yearly and quarterly basis, now look inevitable. Accordingly, we see -0.3% and -0.5% year-on-year fall in the first and second quarters, respectively", they added. DBS Group Holdings, Southeast Asia's largest lender, shed more than 2% to hit its lowest level in more than a year. Thai stocks slipped nearly 2%, with index heavyweight Siam Commercial Bank hitting its lowest since July 2010. The tourism-dependent economy's first quarter economic performance will 'not be good' as the coronavirus outbreak hurts activity, a government official said on Friday. The Philippine benchmark slid 1.7%, while Indonesian equities closed over 2% lower. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS at 0917 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2965.73 3018.27 -1.74 Bangkok 1367.57 1390.83 -1.67 Manila 6770.38 6884.77 -1.66 Jakarta 5498.54 5638.13 -2.48 Kuala Lumpur 1483.1 1491.03 -0.53 Ho Chi Minh 891.44 893.31 -0.21 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2965.73 3222.83 -7.98 Bangkok 1367.57 1579.84 -13.44 Manila 6770.38 7,815.26 -13.37 Jakarta 5498.54 6,299.54 -12.72 Kuala Lumpur 1483.1 1588.76 -6.65 Ho Chi Minh 891.44 960.99 -7.24 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal)