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

04/02/2020 | 06:32am EDT
An SGX sign is pictured at Singapore Stock Exchange

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 and PTT Exploration and Production.

Energy stocks were the top gainers, helped by a 10% climb in crude oil futures. [O/R]

In Malaysia, shares gained on reports that its coronavirus infection curve was flattening.

Oil and gas sector leaders Petronas Gas and Petronas Dagangan 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.

(Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; editing by Uttaresh.V)

By Arundhati Dutta

ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AYALA CORPORATION 0.12% 819.5 End-of-day quote.-0.91%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.81% 74.4 Delayed Quote.43.56%
PETRONAS DAGANGAN -0.11% 19.02 End-of-day quote.-11.12%
PETRONAS GAS 0.75% 16.02 End-of-day quote.-6.75%
PT GUDANG GARAM TBK 2.74% 35650 End-of-day quote.-13.05%
PT INDOFOOD SUKSES MAKMUR TBK 0.40% 6275 End-of-day quote.-8.39%
PTT 1.23% 41.25 End-of-day quote.-2.94%
PTT EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION 1.26% 121 End-of-day quote.23.16%
S&P GSCI CRUDE OIL INDEX 0.64% 394.7713 Delayed Quote.48.10%
SM INVESTMENTS CORPORATION -1.48% 1000 End-of-day quote.-4.67%
TBK CO., LTD. -0.48% 416 End-of-day quote.-6.73%
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