October 31, 2018 / 9:54 AM / 19 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-End firmer; Singapore posts worst month in nearly 3 years

    * Markets post heavy declines for the month
    * Vietnam shares snap 9-day losing streak 
    * Thai Sept trade surplus widens to $1.96 bln from $0.60 bln
in
Aug

    By Shanima A
    Oct 31 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended
higher on Wednesday tracking a firm finish on Wall Street,
though they posted heavy losses in October, with Singapore
reporting its worst month since January 2016 as global equity
markets bled trillions of dollars.
    Financial markets across the globe faced a raft of negative
factors, including Sino-U.S. trade tensions, to worries about
global economic growth, higher U.S. interest rates and company
earnings in the past few weeks.
    In Southeast Asia, Singaporean shares ended 1.8
percent firmer, but lost 7.3 percent this month. 
    Conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd closed
up 0.9 percent, while lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd
added 2.9 percent to the bourse. 
    Vietnam shares snapped nine sessions of declines to
close 2.9 percent higher. 
    Banking sector stocks accounted for most gains, with Joint
Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam
(BIDV) closing 6.9 percent higher. BIDV, Vietnam's
second-biggest bank by market value, said it intends to sell 15
percent shares to South Korea's KEB Hana Bank. 
    Meanwhile, gains in the real estate sector were led by
Vinhomes JSC after the property developer posted a 177
percent surge in third-quarter net profit.
    Malaysian shares closed 1.4 percent firmer as
sentiment was balanced on hopes that cost-saving measures will
be included in the country's 2019 budget due later in the week. 
    The country's newly elected government, led by Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is likely to announce broad spending
cuts in the budget speech scheduled on Nov 2.
    The Philippines market rebounded from previous
session's declines, underpinned by broad gains in the industrial
and real estate stocks.
    Thai shares ended firmer on the back of energy
stocks, which gained on higher oil prices. However, the index
posted a 5.2 percent drop for the month.    
    The biggest gainer on the index, petroleum and gas company
PTT Pcl, closed at its highest in more than a week. 
    The bourse was further cushioned by data from the Bank of
Thailand, which stated September trade surplus of Thailand was
at $1.96 billion, after a $0.60 billion surplus in August. 
  
       
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    SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
  Market           Current       Previous close   Pct Move
  Singapore        3018.8        2966.45          1.76
  Bangkok          1664.46       1638.51          1.58
  Manila           7140.29       7016.06          1.77
  Jakarta          5831.65       5789.1           0.74
  Kuala Lumpur     1709.27       1685.94          1.38
  Ho Chi Minh      914.76        888.69           2.93
                                                  
  Change on year                                  
  Market           Current       End 2017         Pct Move
  Singapore        3018.8        3402.92          -11.29
  Bangkok          1664.46       1753.71          -5.09
  Manila           7140.29       8558.42          -16.57
  Jakarta          5831.65       6355.654         -8.24
  Kuala Lumpur     1709.27       1796.81          -4.87
  Ho Chi Minh      914.76        984.24           -7.06
 
 (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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