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SE Asia Stocks-Down in thin trade on surge in new virus cases, Indonesia leads declines

By Arundhati Dutta
·2 min read

* Indonesia leads declines, down 0.5% * Philippines on track to fall for second straight day * Singapore and Vietnam subdued By Arundhati Dutta Feb 13 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets edged lower in thin trading on Thursday as a surge in the number of coronavirus cases prompted investors to stay away from risky bets. The death toll in China's Hubei province leapt by a record 242 as of Wednesday and the number of new cases soared to 14,840 after the country used a new method to report infections. Analysts at Maybank said in a note that since the surge in new cases was a result of "broadening the definition of confirmed cases", new numbers as of Thursday will be closely watched to see if it normalizes. Global stocks have rallied after China's senior medical advisor said the epidemic would be over by April. But the market hopes were dashed on Thursday by the latest numbers. "The release of a new approach to confirming Covid-19 cases in Hubei makes the numbers look a lot higher, but may not be as bad as it sounds," Robert Carnell, economist at ING wrote in a note. Philippine equities were on track for a second straight day of losses. Index heavyweights Ayala Land Inc skid up to 1.4% and SM Investments Corp 0.7%. The Indonesian benchmark shed as much as 0.5%, dragged lower by materials stocks. Cement maker PT Semen Indonesia (Persero) Tbk dropped up to 4%. The Malaysian index inched lower, hurt by losses in heavyweight financials such as Hong Leong Financial Group and CIMB Group. The Thai index lost as much as 0.4%, pressured by utilities stocks. Electricity distributor Global Power Synergy Pcl lost over 2%. Shares in Singapore and Vietnam were also trading slightly lower. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0426 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3217 3223.37 -0.2 Bangkok 1535.3 1539.84 -0.29 Manila 7350.08 7383.1 -0.45 Jakarta 5883.126 5913.081 -0.51 Kuala Lumpur 1539.59 1542.94 -0.22 Ho Chi Minh 935.68 937.68 -0.21 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3217 3222.83 -0.18 Bangkok 1535.3 1579.84 -2.82 Manila 7350.08 7,815.26 -5.95 Jakarta 5883.126 6,299.54 -6.61 Kuala Lumpur 1539.59 1588.76 -3.09 Ho Chi Minh 935.68 960.99 -2.63 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; Editing by Arun Koyyur)