SE Asia Stocks-Close weaker on bleak China data; Indonesia dives nearly 2%

By Anushka Trivedi

* China Feb factory activity contracts at record pace * Malaysian equities at over 8-year low * Indonesia confirms first coronavirus case, index leads losses By Anushka Trivedi March 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower on Monday as Chinese data showed its fastest ever contraction in factory activity, signalling the impact of the coronavirus on its economy, while Indonesia fell 1.7% after confirming its first virus case. Weekend data from China - the biggest trading partner for Southeast Asia - fuelled concerns over the economic impact from the outbreak that had sent markets into a tailspin last week and wiped trillions of dollars from equities. The outlook for the world's second-biggest economy appears grim, despite resumption of factory production in March as it "will face the risk of a low level of export orders. This is because the supply chain will continue to be broken," said Iris Pang, economist at ING, in a note. "We may revise our GDP forecast downward for first quarter if other activity data reflect a similar weakness," Pang added. The Indonesian index hit its lowest close since February 2017 following reports that two Indonesians had tested positive for coronavirus, while yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond rose to its highest in more than seven weeks. To stabilise its financial markets, Bank Indonesia unveiled a series of measures, including stepping up the volume of intervention and cutting reserve requirements to free up money in the banking system. The Malaysian benchmark index slid 1.1% to its lowest in more than eight years amid continued uncertainty about the country's political future as former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad sought an urgent parliament session to test newly anointed PM Muhyiddin Yassin's claim to majority. Palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantations and lender CIMB Group Bhd were the top drags in the Malaysian index as they plunged 4.6% each. CIMB on Friday had reported a 24.2% decline in its quarterly net profit. Philippine equities closed at their lowest since December 2016, dented by losses in consumer and utility stocks. Singapore shares traded largely flat throughout the session to end marginally lower. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3007.72 3011.08 -0.11 Bangkok 1335.72 1340.52 -0.36 Manila 6749.28 6787.91 -0.57 Jakarta 5361.246 5452.704 -1.68 Kuala Lumpur 1466.94 1482.64 -1.06 Ho Chi Minh 884.43 882.19 0.25 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3007.72 3222.83 -6.67 Bangkok 1335.72 1579.84 -15.45 Manila 6749.28 7,815.26 -13.64 Jakarta 5361.246 6,299.54 -14.89 Kuala Lumpur 1466.94 1588.76 -7.67 Ho Chi Minh 884.43 960.99 -7.97 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)