SE Asia Stocks-Most gain as policymakers combat virus impact; Philippines recovers

By Arpit Nayak

* Philippines sees best day in over 11 years * Philippine shares have eased 20% in previous two sessions * Singapore set to snap seven straight sessions of losses By Arpit Nayak March 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday, with Philippines bouncing after its worst session ever, as global efforts to blunt the coronavirus's economic blow calmed some frayed nerves. A surge in oil prices also provided support, with stocks in Thailand jumping 2.8%, the most in the region. Policymakers around the world have cut interest rates and pumped liquidity into markets this week in a bid to stave off the economic shock from the virus. China, the region's largest trading partner, is set to unleash trillions of yuan of fiscal stimulus, sources told Reuters. "Arguably, a slew of emergency central bank action, mostly unscheduled, has helped to assuage the worst of fears with regards to an unchecked meltdown," Vishnu Varathan, analyst at Mizuho Bank, said in a note. "Add to that decisive fiscal activism globally to tackle coronavirus risks, and glimmers of hope begin to appear. But we remain wary of false dawns in fragile markets for now." Philippine shares were 1.7% higher, after earlier jumping as much as 6.8%, which marked their biggest intraday percentage gain in more than 11 years. Opening after a two-day trading suspension on Thursday, the index clocked its biggest one-day fall on record. It is down over 18% this week. Bucking the trend, Indonesia dropped 4.6% as the death toll from the virus in the country hit 25 - higher than any other Southeast Asian country. Worries about a funding squeeze due to surging demand for the U.S. dollar persisted, putting pressure on emerging Asian currencies. However, many central banks have moved in to boost liquidity. Singapore's central bank said it set up a $60 billion swap facility with the U.S. Federal Reserve, while the Thai central bank bought bonds worth nearly $1.4 billion on Thursday. Singapore's stocks rose as much as 2.2%, set to snap seven straight sessions of losses, supported by the industrials sector. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0310 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 2337.63 2311 1.15 Bangkok 1072.95 1044.19 2.75 Manila 4703.76 4623.42 1.74 Jakarta 3972.586 4105.422 -3.24 Kuala Lumpur 1251.68 1219.72 2.62 Ho Chi Minh 720.02 725.94 -0.82 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2337.63 3222.83 -27.47 Bangkok 1072.95 1579.84 -32.08 Manila 4703.76 7,815.26 -39.81 Jakarta 3972.586 6,299.54 -36.94 Kuala Lumpur 1251.68 1588.76 -21.22 Ho Chi Minh 720.02 960.99 -25.08 (Reporting by Arpit Nayak; Editing by Aditya Soni)