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

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* Indonesia top loser, down 1.7% * Philippines hits highest close in over a month, up nearly 3% * 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 higher. 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 index. 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; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close 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.)

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