SE Asia Stocks-Singapore falls on China virus fears, Philippines extends losses

By Soumyajit Saha

* Banking and industrial stocks drag Singapore * Industrial and utility stocks weigh on Thailand By Soumyajit Saha Jan 21 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks dropped over 1% tracking broader Asia, as investors were spooked by an escalating coronavirus outbreak in China, while Philippines slid under the 1% mark for the second consecutive session on concerns of regulatory incursions into private contracts. The outbreak of a new coronavirus has spread to more Chinese cities, including Shanghai and the capital Beijing, authorities said on Monday. "Concerns over the spread of the virus is affecting market sentiments. Unfortunately, it's coming at a bad time because it's the travel season in China ahead of the New Year celebrations," said Linus Loo, head of research at Lim & Tan Securities. Losses in the banking and industrial sectors weighed on the city-state's benchmark as it fell to its lowest in nearly two weeks. Lender DBS Group Holdings lost nearly 1%, while conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings was down over 2%. Philippine shares were dragged down by heavy losses in the financial sector, with conglomerate Ayala Corp and real estate developer Ayala Land shedding 5.1% and 2.8% respectively. Regulatory scrutiny on certain projects related to the Ayala group had led to "possible regulatory risks involved in private sector's contracts with the government," Rachelle Cruz, analyst at AP Securities said. Foreign investors seem to have concerns about other companies that have similar contracts, and the possibility of probes into such contracts, Cruz added. President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would review a government rail transit contract https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/19/news/headlines/duterte-to-review-lrt-contract-next/675652 with Ayala and Metro Pacific Investment Corp, while the presidential spokesperson had separately hinted at investigations into an Ayala IT park https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/20/news/top-stories/palace-isnt-done-with-ayala-targets-technohub/675908, on Sunday, The Manila Times reported. Thai stocks were also lower, hurt by losses in the industrial and utility sectors. Airport operator Airports of Thailand PCL dropped 3.7%, while chemical maker PTT Global Chemical PCL plunged 6%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0318 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3243.93 3280.09 -1.10 Bangkok 1585.34 1589.11 -0.24 Manila 7481.12 7552.6 -0.95 Jakarta 6252.105 6245.043 0.11 Kuala Lumpur 1589.74 1588.88 0.05 Ho Chi Minh 982.09 978.63 0.35 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3243.93 3222.83 0.65 Bangkok 1585.34 1579.84 0.35 Manila 7481.12 7,815.26 -4.28 Jakarta 6252.105 6,299.54 -0.75 Kuala Lumpur 1589.74 1588.76 0.06 Ho Chi Minh 982.09 960.99 2.20 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

  • Trump completes rollback of Obama-era vehicle fuel efficiency rules
    News
    Reuters

    Trump completes rollback of Obama-era vehicle fuel efficiency rules

    President Donald Trump's administration on Tuesday completed a rollback of vehicle emissions standards adopted under his predecessor Barack Obama and will require 1.5% annual increases in efficiency through 2026 - far weaker than the 5% increases in the discarded rules. The announcement - condemned

  • Venezuela fuel shortages hinder food delivery amid coronavirus quarantine
    News
    Reuters

    Venezuela fuel shortages hinder food delivery amid coronavirus quarantine

    SAN CRISTOBAL/CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's fuel shortages are causing growing complications for the production and delivery of food to a crisis-stricken nation that is in quarantine to stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to ten food industry sources. President Nicolas Maduro's government

  • Grounded cabin crew get hospital training as Sweden battles coronavirus
    News
    Reuters

    Grounded cabin crew get hospital training as Sweden battles coronavirus

    Furloughed crew from crisis-hit Scandinavian airline SAS are taking a three-day course in basic hospital duties to help plug gaps in a Swedish healthcare system strained by thousands of coronavirus cases. The airline, part owned by the governments of Sweden and Denmark, temporarily laid off 10,000 staff

  • With hospitals under siege, U.S. to build hundreds of temporary coronavirus wards
    News
    Reuters

    With hospitals under siege, U.S. to build hundreds of temporary coronavirus wards

    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States aims to build hundreds of temporary hospitals to ease pressure on medical centers struggling to keep up with a surge of coronavirus patients, officials said on Tuesday, a day after the number of U.S. deaths hit a new daily high. The U.S. Army Corps of

  • Eight countries ask EU to halt trucking reforms amid pandemic
    News
    Reuters

    Eight countries ask EU to halt trucking reforms amid pandemic

    In a letter seen by Reuters, transport ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta and Romania said the EU should stand up for transport firms as it has already taken steps to help struggling airlines. "Instead, we are on track of adopting the first Mobility Package

  • Italy mourns its virus dead at end of fateful month
    News
    AFP News

    Italy mourns its virus dead at end of fateful month

    Italy marked a minute of silence and flew flags at half mast Tuesday to mourn the 12,428 people who have died from the coronavirus pandemic that has dramatically altered life in the Mediterranean country. The day of mourning marks a month in which Italy saw more deaths from a single disaster than at

  • US Navy captain says carrier faces dire coronavirus threat: reports
    News
    AFP News

    US Navy captain says carrier faces dire coronavirus threat: reports

    The captain of the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt told the Pentagon that the coronavirus is spreading uncontrollably through his ship and called for immediate help to quarantine its huge crew, two US newspapers reported Tuesday. Captain Brett Crozier wrote in a four-page letter that they had

  • Oil rally runs out of gas, stocks simmer
    News
    AFP News

    Oil rally runs out of gas, stocks simmer

    A jump in Chinese factory activity despite the virus-hit global economy helped keep equities markets bubbling higher, but oil prices failed to rebound convincingly from 18-year lows. "The release of Chinese PMI data overnight provided some reason for optimism, with a sharp rebound back into expansion

  • American Airlines to apply for $12 bn in govt relief
    News
    AFP News

    American Airlines to apply for $12 bn in govt relief

    American Airlines became the first US carrier to announce it will request federal aid under the just-approved relief package, saying it will apply for $12 billion as it attempts to survive a global downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. "These funds are being distributed to ensure continuation

  • Pro-government businessman buys into top Hungarian news portal's funding stream
    News
    Reuters

    Pro-government businessman buys into top Hungarian news portal's funding stream

    Pro-government businessman Miklos Vaszily has acquired significant control over the funding of Hungary's largest independent news outlet, Index.hu, raising fears of interference with the web site to favour Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Orban, a fierce nationalist who has gradually strengthened his

  • G20 vows to fight coronavirus impact on poor nations
    News
    AFP News

    G20 vows to fight coronavirus impact on poor nations

    G20 finance ministers and central bankers pledged Tuesday to address the debt burden of low-income countries and deliver aid to emerging markets as part of a plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement followed a second round of virtual talks after G20 leaders pledged a "united front

  • China lockdown may have blocked 700,000 virus cases: researchers
    News
    AFP News

    China lockdown may have blocked 700,000 virus cases: researchers

    China's decision to lock down the city of Wuhan, ground zero for the global COVID-19 pandemic, may have prevented more than 700,000 new cases by delaying the spread of the virus, researchers said Tuesday. Drastic Chinese control measures in the first 50 days of the epidemic bought other cities across

  • Coronavirus comes to rescue of Sierra Leone's plundered rosewood
    News
    Reuters

    Coronavirus comes to rescue of Sierra Leone's plundered rosewood

    The unpaved road leading to Sierra Leone's Outamba-Kilimi national park was busy last month with men loading rosewood logs into trucks for export to China, an illegal trade that has devastated some West African forests. A crash in demand for rosewood in China due to the coronavirus outbreak has

  • Lagos in lockdown as Africa virus closures spread
    News
    AFP News

    Lagos in lockdown as Africa virus closures spread

    Africa's largest city Lagos appeared deserted Tuesday after Nigeria locked down its economic hub and shuttered its capital, in the continent's latest effort to brake the juggernaut of coronavirus. Nigeria embarked late Monday on one of Africa's most ambitious efforts at social distancing

  • Trump, Erdogan stress need for Syria, Libya ceasefires: W.House
    News
    AFP News

    Trump, Erdogan stress need for Syria, Libya ceasefires: W.House

    US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined Tuesday the need for ceasefires in Syria and Libya during the coronavirus pandemic, the White House said. The two spoke by phone on efforts to "defeat the virus and bolster the global economy," the White

  • Exclusive: Coronavirus stalls Chinese approvals of new Brazil meat exports
    Finance
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Coronavirus stalls Chinese approvals of new Brazil meat exports

    China has not approved any new Brazilian meat plants for export this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, an official at Brazil's Agriculture Ministry told Reuters, adding that all approvals were on hold until the crisis eases. The freeze comes despite the fact that Brazil and China implemented

  • Top U.S. expert sees 'glimmers' social distancing dampening virus spread
    News
    Reuters

    Top U.S. expert sees 'glimmers' social distancing dampening virus spread

    The U.S. government's top infectious disease expert said on Tuesday there were "glimmers" that social distancing efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus were having an impact, even though the nation was still in a very dangerous situation. "We're starting to see glimmers

  • Armenia extends emergency restrictions until April 10
    News
    Reuters

    Armenia extends emergency restrictions until April 10

    Armenia is extending emergency restrictions for another 10 days until April 10 in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Tuesday. The tiny former Soviet republic of around 3 million people has reported 532 cases of the virus, the highest number in the South

  • Paris to transfer 38 coronavirus patients to other regions on Wednesday - officials
    News
    Reuters

    Paris to transfer 38 coronavirus patients to other regions on Wednesday - officials

    Paris health officials will begin transferring 38 critical coronavirus patients by high-speed train from the Paris to regions that have been less overwhelmed to ease pressure on the capital's intensive care capacity, officials said on Tuesday. "What is planned from the Paris region by TGV transport

  • Court finds Helsinki less at fault than Siemens in metro dispute
    Finance
    Reuters

    Court finds Helsinki less at fault than Siemens in metro dispute

    The city of Helsinki had the right to scrap its contract with Siemens over the failed automation of the Finnish capital's metro, but both sides broke agreements, a Helsinki district court ruled on Tuesday in a long-running legal dispute. The dispute dates back to Helsinki's decision in 2008

  • In Venezuela shift, US asks Guaido to renounce power -- for now
    News
    AFP News

    In Venezuela shift, US asks Guaido to renounce power -- for now

    The United States on Tuesday called on Venezuela's Juan Guaido to renounce his claim to the presidency at least temporarily as it recalibrated its strategy to oust leader Nicolas Maduro. In a shift after more than a year of US-led efforts to topple the leftist Maduro, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

  • Bolivia's jailed former 'minister for cocaine' dies at 82
    News
    Reuters

    Bolivia's jailed former 'minister for cocaine' dies at 82

    A former Bolivian interior minister known as "Minister for Cocaine" for his role in turning the impoverished nation into a narco-state during a military dictatorship in the 1980s has died after decades in prison, local media said on Tuesday, citing a Bolivian government minister. Luis Arce

  • Venezuela prosecutor's office summoned Guaido for 'attempted coup'
    News
    AFP News

    Venezuela prosecutor's office summoned Guaido for 'attempted coup'

    State prosecutors in Venezuela have summoned opposition leader Juan Guaido for an alleged "attempted coup d'etat" and attempted assassination, Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced Tuesday. In a statement broadcast on state television, Saab said Guaido had been summoned to appear

  • Worldwide lockdown hardens as Spain sees deadliest day
    News
    AFP News

    Worldwide lockdown hardens as Spain sees deadliest day

    Tightened lockdowns across the planet saw nearly half of humanity told to stay at home in a bid to stem the spiralling coronavirus pandemic, as Spain recorded its deadliest day Tuesday and the United States braced for the full impact of the disease. The virus has claimed more than 38,000 lives worldwide

  • Race for vaccine tests limits of drug innovation
    News
    AFP Relax

    Race for vaccine tests limits of drug innovation

    There is no known treatment for the new coronavirus that emerged in China late last year and has since proliferated across the planet, infecting more than half a million people and claiming more than 30,000 lives. In mid-January, researchers from China published the genetic sequence of the virus, firing