SE Asia Stocks-Most gain on hopes of more virus stimulus measures

By Arpit Nayak
·3-min read

* Thai government plans "big scheme" of stimulus against virus * Indonesia set for best week in more than 10 years * Philippines set for best week since 2001 By Arpit Nayak March 27 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday as investors latched on to hopes of further stimulus measures to dull the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic, a day after U.S. unemployment filings surged to a record high. Even as the surge in U.S. jobless claims reflected the magnitude of the virus' impact on the economy, it gave rise to hopes for further stimulus measures to tackle the economic fallout from the outbreak. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to pass a massive $2 trillion stimulus package later on Friday to pump liquidity into the world's largest economy. "Renewed hopes of the $2 trillion fiscal support from the U.S. reaching the economy in a timelier manner ... helped to break the recent fall for the market," Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG said. "The market has clearly taken to the 3.28 million jobless claims as an indication that the U.S. administration could speed up the reach of this aid to Americans." Indonesian shares jumped 7.7% and were headed for their best week in more than 10 years. Bank Rakyat Indonesia surged 24.8% to mark a record intraday percentage gain after Bloomberg News reported it had revived its plan to sell a stake in its life insurance arm. The Indonesian government said it was preparing to expand fiscal stimulus to cushion the economy from disruption due to the outbreak. Singapore gained almost 3% to hit its highest in over a week and on course for its best week in nearly four years. The city-state unveiled a new stimulus package on Thursday to combat the virus that threatens to push it into a recession. Thai equities added 2.4% after the government said on Friday it was planning a "big scheme" of stimulus to help the economy hit by the outbreak. Philippines lost as much as 2.3% before paring losses, but was still set for its best week since 2001 after robust gains in the three previous sessions. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0346 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 2557.53 2487.56 2.81 Bangkok 1114.3 1091.96 2.05 Manila 5328.84 5401.58 -1.35 Jakarta 4662.767 4338.904 7.46 Kuala Lumpur 1349.29 1328.09 1.60 Ho Chi Minh 695.73 694.21 0.22 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2557.53 3222.83 -20.64 Bangkok 1114.3 1579.84 -29.47 Manila 5328.84 7,815.26 -31.81 Jakarta 4662.767 6,299.54 -25.98 Kuala Lumpur 1349.29 1588.76 -15.07 Ho Chi Minh 695.73 960.99 -27.60 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)