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SE Asia Stocks-Thailand rises on stimulus hopes; Malaysia up as infection curve flattens

By Arundhati Dutta
·2 min read

* Malaysia coronavirus curve flattening - WHO * Philippines sole loser in the region By Arundhati Dutta April 2 (Reuters) - Thailand shares closed higher on Thursday on hopes of fresh stimulus measures to cushion the coronavirus' impact on its economy, while Malaysian equities gained as the rate of new infections slowed. Thai cabinet will consider a new package of economic measures on Friday, its deputy prime minister said, days after the country's finance minister said that a new package could be worth more than 500 billion baht. The benchmark index rose 3%, helped by gains of around 12% each in energy sector heavyweights PTT Pcl and PTT Exploration and Production. Energy stocks were the top gainers, helped by a 10% climb in crude oil futures. In Malaysia, shares gained on reports that its coronavirus infection curve was flattening. Oil and gas sector leaders Petronas Gas Bhd and Petronas Dagangan Bhd rose 2.3% and 6.5%, respectively. The number of virus cases in Malaysia is expected to peak in mid-April and there are signs of a flattening of the infection curve, the World Health Organization said. Indonesian shares closed 1.5% higher, with consumer staples lifting the index. Cigarette maker PT Gudang Garam Tbk added almost 10%, while food conglomerate PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk gained 7%. "It is still a volatile market as there are still uncertainties on both macro and corporate fronts," Isnaputra Iskanda, Head of Research at Maybank Kim Eng Sekuritas, said while referring to Indonesian markets. Meanwhile, Philippine equities closed down 1.2%, with losses in heavyweight conglomerates SM Investments and Ayala Corp weighing on the index. The Singapore index closed 0.5% higher, while Vietnamese markets were closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 2453.03 2440.27 0.52 Bangkok 1138.27 1105.51 2.96 Manila 5342.31 5408.52 -1.22 Jakarta 4531.685 4466.037 1.47 Kuala Lumpur 1330.9 1322.66 0.62 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2453.03 3222.83 -23.89 Bangkok 1138.27 1579.84 -27.95 Manila 5342.31 7,815.26 -31.64 Jakarta 4531.685 6,299.54 -28.06 Kuala Lumpur 1330.9 1588.76 -16.23 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; editing by Uttaresh.V)