SE Asia Stocks-Poised for worst week in over a decade as virus panic worsens

By Sameer Manekar

* Singapore enters bear market territory * Philippines set for worst week since 1998 * Thailand, Indonesia trigger circuit breakers By Sameer Manekar March 13 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets sank on Friday and were headed for their worst week in more than a decade, as a rout in global equities deepened amid rising travel restrictions and growing fears of a global recession due to the coronavirus outbreak. Sell-off gathered pace from Thursday after the World Health Organization termed the outbreak a pandemic and U.S. President Donald Trump restricted travel from Europe to contain the virus spread. Broader Asian equities were also pounded after all three U.S. indexes crashed overnight, ending their record bull run. "It's a chain reaction, a vicious cycle," said Joel Ng, an analyst at KGI Securities, adding that markets were coming to terms with the possibility of a synchronised global recession. "There are a lot of expectations that central banks and governments would step in, however, the problem is that there is an absence of global coordination, unlike in 2008," he added. Thailand and Indonesian shares fell 10% and 5%, respectively, at one point, triggering circuit breakers for the second time in as many days. Export-reliant Singapore shares hit their lowest since July 2009, entering bear market territory - down up to 23.5% since a Jan. 17 peak, and were on track for their worst week since October 2008. Financials and industrial sectors were the worst hit, with DBS Group Holdings and industrial conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings losing as much as 6% and 10.2%, respectively. Thai shares were poised for a record weekly loss, losing 26.5%. Blue-chip firms PTT Pcl and Airports of Thailand were down 8.7% and 10%, respectively. Malaysian shares marked their steepest drop since March 2008 on Friday, losing nearly 7% to the lowest since September 2011. Heavyweight firms Malayan Banking and electricity generator Tenaga Nasional slipped 3.9% and 10.5%, respectively. Indonesian shares fell more than 5% and were set for their biggest weekly drop since October 2008. Philippine stocks plunged more than 11%, their most since October 2008, and were headed for their biggest weekly loss since 1998. Meanwhile, the country's finance minister ordered state pension funds to increase their daily investments to support the stock market. Vietnam stocks slumped nearly 6%, hitting their lowest since May 2017. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0345 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2541.78 2678.64 -5.11 Bangkok 1005.43 1114.91 -9.82 Manila 5404.71 5736.27 -5.78 Jakarta 4644.319 4895.748 -5.14 Kuala Lumpur 1326.56 1419.43 -6.54 Ho Chi Minh 736.79 769.25 -4.22 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2541.78 3222.83 -21.13 Bangkok 1005.43 1579.84 -36.36 Manila 5404.71 7,815.26 -30.84 Jakarta 4644.319 6,299.54 -26.28 Kuala Lumpur 1326.56 1588.76 -16.50 Ho Chi Minh 736.79 960.99 -23.33 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)