January 7, 2019 / 4:31 AM / 10 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise on dovish Fed comments, Sino-U.S. trade optimism

    * U.S.-China trade talks to begin later in the day
    * Philippine stocks hit highest in more than 7 months
    * Indonesian shares climb to highest since April 2018

    By Niyati Shetty
    Jan 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks climbed on Monday
on hopes that Beijing and Washington can strike a comprehensive
trade deal, while upbeat U.S. data and a dovish turn by the Fed
soothed global growth concerns that had roiled international
    Leading the gains in regional market, Philippines index
 marked its highest in more than seven months. Poised to
end firmer for a fourth straight session, the index was buoyed
by industrials and real estate stocks.     
    Broader Asian peers advanced on hopes of a trade deal
between Beijing and Washington. Chinese officials will meet
their U.S. counterparts for negotiations later in the day, in a
positive start to the new year.
    "Any development when it comes to the trade talks will be a
positive factor for overall markets, especially for markets
which have been directly affected by the trade war," said Miguel
Ong, research analyst, AP Securities.  
    According to Friday's data, U.S. employment data had surged
in December, while strong wage growth also pointed to sustained
strength in the economy.
    Despite the stronger-than-expected U.S. December jobs data,
many analysts believe the world's largest economy is losing
momentum and further rate hikes are the last thing it needs.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments that the
central bank is "prepared to shift the stance of policy" boosted
sentiment across the globe.   
    Singapore's benchmark index, which gained as much as
1.5 percent, hit a three-week high. The index was underpinned by
lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd and conglomerate Jardine
Strategic Holdings Ltd, which advanced up to 2.2
percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. 
    Elsewhere in the region, Indonesian stocks climbed
to their highest since April 2018. 
    Financials and consumer staple sectors boosted the index,
with Bank Central Asia Tbk PT rising as much as 2.3
percent and Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT up 2.8 percent. 
    The country's index of 45 most liquid stocks
advanced 1.6 percent.
    In Thailand, energy firms PTT PCL climbed
up to 2.7 percent and PTT Exploration and Production PCL
 advanced as much as 2.5 percent. 
    The Malaysian index gained, while Vietnam stocks
 were up as much as 1.8 percent. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3098.3    3059.23         1.28
 Bangkok                1592.48   1575.13         1.10
 Manila                 7877.38   7761.11         1.50
 Jakarta                6323.331  6274.54         0.78
 Kuala Lumpur           1680.47   1669.78         0.64
 Ho Chi Minh            889.16    880.9           0.94
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3098.3    3068.76         0.96
 Bangkok                1592.48   1563.88         1.83
 Manila                 7877.38   7,466.02        5.51
 Jakarta                6323.331  6,194.50        2.08
 Kuala Lumpur           1680.47   1690.58         -0.60
 Ho Chi Minh            889.16    892.54          -0.38

 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
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