SE Asia Stocks-Most markets rise as economies set to reopen; Philippines sole loser
Tuesday, May 26, 2020       20:54 WIB

May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Tuesday as further moves to ease the coronavirus lockdowns and hopes of more stimulus from China boosted
sentiment, while the Philippines ended lower even though it pared steep early losses.
Japan lifted the state of emergency in Tokyo, while major European economies, including France and Spain, were also returning to business.
Biggest regional trading partner China aided sentiment after its central bank promised to strengthen economic policy and push for lower interest rates on loans.
Leading gains in Southeast Asia, Indonesian equities added 1.8%, with the financial sector contributing to nearly half the index's gains. PT Bank Central Asia Tbk rose
In Singapore, markets looked past a third economic downgrade for 2020 which signalled its deepest-ever recession, as the city-state unveiled its fourth multi-billion dollar economic stimulus package to cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benchmark index ended 1.4% higher, with heavyweight Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd, up 8%, the biggest gainer.
Thai stocks jumped 1.1%, and touched their highest closing level since early March, helped by the industrial and consumer discretionary sectors.
However, the Philippine index closed 0.8% lower, after dropping more than 2% in early trade, amid expectations of gradually easing lockdown restrictions by June.
Local media here reported that 14 of 17 mayors in Metro Manila are in favour of
downgrading quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region after May 31.
Investors were holding off on riskier assets, awaiting updates on how business will be conducted after May, according to analysts at Regina Capital.
Restaurant operator Jollibee Foods Corp, which shed 10.3%, was the top drag on the index after flagging lower sales in the coming months in an earnings update on Friday.
Vietnam closed up 1.2% while Malaysian markets were closed for a holiday.

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