January 4, 2019 / 10:01 AM / 9 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines, Indonesia jump as positive data lifts sentiment

    * Energy stocks propel Indonesia to 8-mth high
    * Philippines posts 4 pct weekly gain, best in nearly 2 yrs
    * Vietnam records 4-week losing streak
    * Late surge helps Thailand snap 3 weeks of losses

    By Rashmi Ashok
    Jan 4 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
higher on Friday, with Philippines gaining on positive inflation
data, while Indonesia's energy stocks propelled its index to an
8-month high on better-than-expected 2018 coal production. 
    Philippines index posted a weekly gain of nearly 4
percent, its best weekly performance in nearly 2 years, while
also closing at an 3-month high.
    Stocks surged as data showed inflation cooled more than
expected in December as food and transport costs rose at a
slower pace, reinforcing views that the central bank is done
raising interest rates and giving it room to lower borrowing
costs if needed.
    Singapore's benchmark snapped two sessions of steep
losses to rise 1.5 percent, as a bout of bargain buying by
traders propelled the index gain most in the region.
    "In the last six months, stocks have priced in all the
weaker data and valuations have turned cheap," said Joel Ng, an
analyst at KGI Securities in Singapore. "In terms of short term
trading there appear to be some opportunities."
    Singapore's index has lost nearly 7 percent over the last
six months and about 2 percent over the previous two sessions.
    Indonesian stocks surged in fag end of trade after
Indonesia's energy ministry reported a jump in 2018 coal
production which surpassed the ministry's target, while
biodiesel production nearly doubled.
    Energy stocks largely propelled the index to its highest
close in about 8 months, with coal miner Adaro Energy Tbk
 jumping 13 percent while oil and gas explorer Medco
Energi Internasional Tbk firming 3.4 percent.
    Coal miner Golden Eagle Energy Tbk's stock was the
top percentage gainer on the index, surging 35 percent.
    Also finding a boon in energy stocks was Thailand's index
 which advanced as index heavyweights PTT PCL
and  PTT Exploration and Production PCL jumped 2.8
percent and nearly 5 percent, respectively.
    Energy stocks gained in tandem with oil prices which rose
more than 1 percent after news about U.S.- China talks and
OPEC-led supply cuts provided support for the commodity.
    Vietnam's benchmark recovered from a staggering
13-month low in the session to close 0.3 percent higher.
However, the index recorded a 4-week losing streak.
    Bucking the trend, Malaysia's index edged lower.
Sentiment remained gloomy after government data showed that the
country's trade surplus fell sharply in November.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3059.23  3012.88         1.54
 Bangkok                1575.13  1560.03         0.97
 Manila                 7761.11  7680.6          1.05
 Jakarta                6274.54  6221.01         0.86
 Kuala Lumpur           1669.78  1675.83         -0.36
 Ho Chi Minh            880.9    878.22          0.31
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3059.23  3068.76         -0.31
 Bangkok                1575.13  1563.88         0.72
 Manila                 7761.11  7,466.02        3.95
 Jakarta                6274.54  6,194.50        1.29
 Kuala Lumpur           1669.78  1690.58         -1.23
 Ho Chi Minh            880.9    892.54          -1.30

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
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