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SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as new coronavirus cases jump; Indonesia down 1pct

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 09:59 GMT+7
SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as new coronavirus cases jump; Indonesia down 1pct
A Thai investor reads a newspaper in front of an electronic board displaying live market data at a stock broker's office in Bangkok, Thailand, August 19, 2015. Photo: Reuters

February 21 -- Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower on Friday, with Indonesia losing the most, as a sharp rise in new coronavirus cases in China and elsewhere dented the appeal of riskier assets.

South Korea reported 52 new virus infections on Friday, while the number of new cases in mainland China also jumped, escalating fears over the impact of the epidemic that has already prompted regional central banks to cut growth targets and lower interest rates. 

"If the coronavirus emergency loiters through all of Q1 and part of Q2, the steady procession of companies globally announcing material impacts on either their revenues, or supply chains, could turn into a flood," Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at OANDA, said in a note. 

The Indonesian benchmark dropped one percent, snapping four straight days of gains, dragged by losses in consumer staples. 

PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk shed 2.5 percent.

Bank Indonesia on Thursday lowered the country's growth outlook for 2020, citing virus concerns, following similar downgrades by Singapore and Thailand.

Philippines stocks closed down 0.6 percent, with electric utility Manila Electric Co dropping 3.2 percent.

Shares in Vietnam ended 0.5 percent lower on weakness in financial stocks.

Vietnam's manufacturing sector is suffering supply chain issues caused by the epidemic, the Ministry of Industry and Trade told Reuters on Friday.

Singaporean shares edged down 0.4 percent and lost 1.1 percent for the week, snapping two straight weekly gains. 

Bucking the trend, Thai shares erased early losses to end 0.3 percent higher.

However, the index posted its biggest weekly loss since late January as the country's central bank projected a grim outlook for economic growth this year.

Reuters

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