Regional stocks up as global equities cheer slowing virus
By FocusM |   |  Others

SOUTHEAST Asian stock markets tracked broader equities to end higher on Monday as investors were encouraged by a global slowdown in coronavirus cases and deaths as well as regional government stimuli.

Major European nations reported lower fatality rates, with Italy seeing the number of patients in intensive care falling for the second consecutive day.

London's FTSE was up 3.2% in early trading, Germany's DAX index was 4% higher while Australia's benchmark index rose 4.33%.

Markets appeared to shrug off reports of increasing Covid-19 cases and deaths from the region.

"Financial markets are searching for any slivers of hope," Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at OANDA wrote in a note.

Leading the gains, Vietnamese shares surged 5% to extend a three-session winning streak, pushed by financial and real estate stocks.

The country plans to delay the collection of 180 tril dong (RM33.21 bil) worth of taxes and land rent to help businesses hit by the virus.

Singaporean equities ended over 3% higher, with heavyweight financials United Overseas Bank Ltd and DBS Group Holdings Ltd adding 3.6% and 2.7%, respectively.

The city-state unveiled US$3.55 bil in additional economic spending such as wage support, waiver of levies and one-off payments to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Indonesian stocks advanced more than 4% and hit a three-week high. Financials were the top gainers, with PT Bank Central Asia climbing 4.4%

The Philippine benchmark closed up 4.2%, with gains in big cap conglomerates SM Investments and Ayala Land boosting the index.

Malaysian shares ended higher as well, after the prime minister announced RM10 bil in additional funds to assist small and medium-sized companies.

Thai markets were closed for a holiday. - April 6, 2020, Reuters

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