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

Saturday, April 04, 2020, 11:15 GMT+7
SE Asia Stocks-Thailand posts best week since 2015 on oil surge; Singapore down
Thai military police officers wearing protective masks stand at a checkpoint, as Thailand imposes a nationwide night curfew from Friday April 3, to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand April 3, 2020. Photo: Reuters

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 percent, 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 US$30 a barrel on Friday after soaring as much as 47 percent 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 Pcl and PTT Exploration and Production Pcl gained over five percent each.      

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

Shares in Vietnam added over three percent, 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-metric ton importation.      

Vietnamese markets were closed on Thursday for a holiday.       

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


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