SE Asia Stocks-Philippines shuts markets, others tumble as coronavirus wreaks havoc

By Arpit Nayak

* Philippines suspends stock and bond trading indefinitely * Markets unimpressed by coordinated stimulus, policy -analyst * Indonesian index hits circuit breaker for the 3rd time in four sessions By Arpit Nayak March 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday, while the Philippine bourse suspended trading indefinitely in an unprecedented move, on fears of the damaging effects stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Philippines shut down trading on its stock exchange and bond markets until further notice in a bid to protect the safety of traders, even as it put half its population of 107 million under a strict home quarantine to curb the spread. While Philippines managed to escape the broad losses in markets, other markets in the region suffered after Wall Street's main indexes clocked a historic rout overnight in their biggest plunge since the 1987 'Black Monday' market crash. "The global growth picture looks increasingly dire and subject to further down-side risks as the 'unknowns'... are more glaring than the 'knowns'," said Venkateswaran Lavanya, analyst at Mizuho Bank, in a note. Lavanya also said that despite monetary policy action across the board and a commitment from G7 leaders to coordinate measures, global markets "remained unimpressed". Indonesian equities ended 5% lower, after having triggered a circuit breaker that halted trading for thirty minutes - the third such instance across the last four trading sessions. Financials and consumers were the worst hit, with Bank Central Asia falling 7% and household goods maker Unilever Indonesia losing 6.8%. Singapore shares fell 1.7%, to close at their lowest in at least 10 and a half years. Lender DBS Group Holdings and real estate firm Capitaland lost about 3% each. However, losses were limited by data that showed the city-state's exports grew 3% in February buoyed by increased shipments of electronics and specialised machinery, against expectations for a sharp decline. The Thai bourse fell 1% in a low-volume and highly volatile trading session. The tourism-reliant nation approved plans to postpone next month's Thai New Year holiday and close schools to limit the spread of the virus. Malaysian stocks fell 1.9%, despite the government bumping up its stimulus package by $230 million to combat the impact of the virus. The nation closed off its borders, restricted internal movement, shut schools and universities and ordered most businesses to close after a rapid rise in coronavirus cases. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2454.53 2495.77 -1.65 Bangkok 1035.17 1046.08 -1.04 Jakarta 4456.749 4690.657 -4.99 Kuala Lumpur 1256.58 1280.63 -1.88 Ho Chi Minh 745.78 747.86 -0.28 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2454.53 3222.83 -23.84 Bangkok 1035.17 1579.84 -34.48 Manila 5335.37 7,815.26 -31.73 Jakarta 4456.749 6,299.54 -29.25 Kuala Lumpur 1256.58 1588.76 -20.91 Ho Chi Minh 745.78 960.99 -22.39 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)