September 5, 2019 / 4:23 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Gain as Sino-U.S. trade-talk plans boost riskier assets

    * Singapore on track for a third straight gain
    * Philippines' August inflation below forecast
    * Thai index hits nearly one-month high

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    Sept 5 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Thursday after China confirmed it would hold high-level trade
talks with the United States in early October, buoying investor
hopes of a de-escalation in the festering trade dispute.
    China's Commerce Ministry said its trade team will consult
with their U.S. counterparts in mid-September in preparation for
negotiations in early October, hinting at progress in reducing
trade friction.
    Broader Asian shares traded higher with MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up
    Investors welcomed signs that plans to resolve the trade row
were making headway, with a trade-dependent Thailand being the
biggest gainer in the Southeast Asian region.
    The Thai index advanced to its highest in nearly a
month. The country's main stock exchange had signed an agreement
to develop an energy trading platform as part of a plan to
become Southeast Asia's electricity trading hub.
    Top energy stocks PTT PCL and PTT Exploration and
Production gained 1.7% and 3.4%, respectively.
    Progress on the trade front also sparked a rally in
Singapore, with the benchmark index on track for a third
straight session of gains. Shares of Jardine Strategic Holdings
 climbed 0.9%, while those of United Overseas Bank Ltd
 rose 1.2%.
    The city-state's economy has been one among the hardest hit
by the protracted trade war, with economists surveyed by the
Monetary Authority of Singapore slashing their economic growth
forecast from a rise of 2.1% in the June survey to a 0.6%
    Philippine stocks gained 0.6% after a slowing
inflation cemented expectations of a third interest rate cut
this year. 
    The country's consumer price index rose 1.7% in August from
a year earlier, the weakest pace in nearly three years and below
the 1.8% forecast in a Reuters poll.
    "With inflation benign and two straight downside surprises
to GDP growth, we also expect the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
(BSP) to cut its policy rate by a further 25bps in Q4 this
year," ANZ said in a note to clients. 
    Shares of Ayala Corp rose 1.2%, while those of real
estate firm Megaworld Corp advanced 3.6%. 
    Consumer and financial stocks boosted the Indonesian
benchmark index, with Astra International Tbk Pt
 and Bank Mandiri Tbk Pt gaining over 1%
    Vietnam stocks also edged higher, backed by financial
and real estate shares. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3150.25   3130.57         0.63
 Bangkok                1670.49   1658.64         0.71
 Manila                 7888.05   7840.86         0.60
 Jakarta                6296.734  6269.664        0.43
 Kuala Lumpur           1601.95   1599.89         0.13
 Ho Chi Minh            979.2     977.63          0.16
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3150.25   3068.76         2.66
 Bangkok                1670.49   1563.88         6.82
 Manila                 7888.05   7,466.02        5.65
 Jakarta                6296.734  6,194.50        1.65
 Kuala Lumpur           1601.95   1690.58         -5.24
 Ho Chi Minh            979.2     892.54          9.71
 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry
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