April 30, 2019 / 10:05 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most firm on optimism China will maintain stimulus

    * Philippines leads gains in the region
    * Singapore posts biggest monthly gain in SE Asia
    * Thailand unveils measures to support economic growth

    By Aditya Soni
    April 30 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
advanced on Tuesday as disappointing China factory data stoked
optimism that Beijing would continue to provide policy stimulus
to boost growth.
    Official data showed that manufacturing activity in the
world's second-largest economy expanded for a second straight
month in April but at a much slower pace.
    "What we are seeing is that bad news is good news because
... there is a fair amount of expectation that the Chinese
government will come in to rescue the day," said Taye Shim, head
of research, Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
    Philippine shares climbed 0.7 percent to their
highest close since April 11 and were the best performer in
Southeast Asia. 
    Real estate stocks dominated the gains, with SM Prime
Holdings Inc firming 2.4 percent, while Ayala Land Inc
 rose 0.9 percent. 
    Investors now await the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day
policy meeting, which starts later in the day. 
    Thai shares rose the most in nearly two weeks as the
country's cabinet approved economic measures worth 21.8 billion
baht ($682.96 million) in a bid to support a slowing economy
weighed down by weaker exports.
    The main stock index gained 2.1 percent for the month. 
    Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL and Airports of Thailand
PCL gained 4.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively
and were the biggest boosts to the benchmark index. 
    Indonesian stocks climbed 0.5 percent, while
Malaysian shares closed 0.3 percent higher.  
    Singapore shares ticked lower after recording sharp
gains in the previous session. The index still gained 5.8
percent in April, the most in the region. 
    The Vietnam stock market was closed for a holiday.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3400.2    3407.02         -0.20
 Bangkok            1673.52   1666.68         0.41
 Manila             7952.72   7897.02         0.71
 Jakarta            6455.352  6425.895        0.46
 Kuala Lumpur       1642.29   1637.4          0.30
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore          3400.2    3068.76         10.80
 Bangkok            1673.52   1563.88         7.01
 Manila             7952.72   7466.02         6.52
 Jakarta            6455.352  6194.498        4.21
 Kuala Lumpur       1642.29   1690.58         -2.86
 Ho Chi Minh        979.64    892.54          9.76
 
($1 = 31.9200 baht)

 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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