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Southeast Asia Stocks - Thailand posts best week since 2015 on oil surge; Singapore down

04/03/2020 | 06:20am EST
A man walks past screen at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta

Singaporean markets slumped on Friday after the city-state shutdown most businesses to fight the coronavirus, while the energy-heavy Thai index was boosted by rallying oil prices and hopes of stimulus to support its economy.

Singaporean stocks closed down 2.6%, weighed down by losses in heavyweight conglomerates Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd and Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd.

Singapore will close schools and most workplaces, except for essential services like supermarkets and banks for a month, as its infections have been rising sharply in recent weeks.

Elsewhere, Benchmark Brent crude oil futures rose above $30 a barrel on Friday after soaring as much as 47% in the previous session, on expectations of a huge global supply cut deal to support prices.

Thailand stocks closed marginally higher and posted its best week since October 2015. Energy heavyweights PTT and PTT Exploration and Production gained over 5% each.

Also aiding Thai sentiment was Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak's statement that new economic measures to ease virus impact would be worth 10% of GDP.

Shares in Vietnam added over 3%, boosted by gains in the real estate sector.

The Philippines, the world's top rice buyer, said on Thursday it has secured Vietnam's commitment for continuous supply of the staple food, which may include a 300,000-tonne importation.

Vietnamese markets were closed on Thursday for a holiday.

Indonesian equities gained 2%, with financials boosting the index. PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk and PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk rose 5.8% and 4.2%, respectively.

Indonesian palm producers have no plans to reduce workers' hours or other activities despite virus, an industry body said on Friday.

Indonesia is the world's largest producer of palm oil.

Shares in Malaysia and the Philippines ended flat.

By Arundhati Dutta

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BEST INC. -0.41% 2.43 Delayed Quote.19.12%
JARDINE CYCLE & CARRIAGE LIMITED 0.22% 23.3 End-of-day quote.19.18%
JARDINE STRATEGIC HOLDINGS LIMITED -0.07% 27.39 End-of-day quote.10.09%
LETS HOLDINGS GROUP CO., LTD. -5.09% 7.46 End-of-day quote.-4.11%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.32% 56.19 Delayed Quote.7.08%
LOOK HOLDINGS INCORPORATED 0.22% 920 End-of-day quote.-3.87%
PT BANK MANDIRI (PERSERO) TBK 1.39% 7300 End-of-day quote.15.42%
PT BANK NEGARA INDONESIA (PERSERO) TBK -0.80% 6225 End-of-day quote.0.81%
PTT 1.27% 40 End-of-day quote.-5.88%
PTT EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION -0.90% 110.5 End-of-day quote.12.47%
TBK CO., LTD. 0.91% 444 End-of-day quote.-0.45%
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