SINGAPORE: Most Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued on Monday, as an agreement by OPEC and its allies to slash oil output did little to calm investors plagued by the incessant spread of the new coronavirus, while Philippine shares rose on hopes of policy easing.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia agreed on Sunday to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the pandemic.
"Across market, the bigger issue remains demand as Covid-19 shocks continue to linger while the cut also takes place from a markedly higher production level prior to the price war," Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG, said in a note.
Indonesia reported the biggest daily jump in the coronavirus infections on Friday, while the Philippines recorded its highest single-day death toll.
Indonesian stocks see-sawed in early trade and were last down 0.5%. Financials were the top drags, with PT Bank Central Asia Tbk shedding 1.3%.
Indonesia on Sunday imposed curbs on public transport ahead of the annual exodus to home villages that marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Philippine shares rose as much as 1.2%, aided by gains in conglomerates such as Ayala Land and GT Capital Holdings.
The central bank governor on Sunday said another 200 basis point cut in the reserve requirement ratio was "forthcoming" and signalled more cuts in its policy interest rate to counter the impact from the pandemic.
Vietnamese equities climbed as much as 1.3%, led by financials. Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank jumped 7%. Singapore and Malaysia were little changed.
Malaysia extended movement and travel restrictions on Friday for another two weeks until April 28.
Thai shares were almost flat, with Airports of Thailand Pcl falling more than 5%. - Reuters
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