January 11, 2019 / 5:24 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most climb on trade optimism; Philippines drops 1.6 pct

    * China's top trade negotiator may visit Washington this
    * Malaysia Nov factory output up 2.5 pct, but slower than
    * Singapore stocks set to close firmer for sixth straight

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Jan 11 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
climbed on Friday amid reports the United States and China were
making headway in their talks on trade, while expectations of
the U.S. Fed hitting the pause button on monetary tightening
helped boost sentiment.
    U.S. officials expect China's top trade negotiator to visit
Washington this month, signalling that discussions are likely to
follow this week's talks.
    U.S. Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell's comment that the
central bank can wait on any further rate hikes also helped the
    Shares across broader Asia inched higher, with MSCI's
broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 rising 0.4 percent. 
    Singapore stocks were on track for a sixth straight
session of gains, buoyed by lenders DBS Group Holdings
and United Overseas Bank.
    The Philippine index, which came under heavy pressure
from losses among the country's largest banks, dropped 1.6
percent to its biggest intraday fall in over three weeks.
    According to media reports, the Philippine unit of South
Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co Ltd
 declared bankruptcy and top lenders will have to
cover the fallout. 
    News of the bankruptcy and reports of the loan exposure to
Hanjin by several banks with significant weight on the index
were driving the market lower, said Miguel Ong, research
analyst, AP Securities. 
    Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metropolitan
Bank and Trust Co were the biggest drags, down as much
as 5.1 percent and 6.4 percent, while BDO Unibank
dropped up to 2.7 percent. 
    Malaysia shares traded 0.1 percent weaker after
investors priced in government data that showed the country's
industrial output had climbed 2.5 percent in November from a
year earlier, but was slower than the 4.2 percent rise in the
previous month.   
For Asian Companies click;  

  Change on the day                                         
  Market             Current        Previous      Pct Move
  Singapore          3198.66        3183.51        0.48
  Bangkok            1589.7         1587.63        0.13
  Manila             7858.61        7985.23       -1.59
  Jakarta            6341.026       6328.714       0.19
  Kuala Lumpur       1677.02        1678.88       -0.11
 Ho Chi Minh         902.28         898.3          0.44
  Change so far in                                
  Market             Current        End 2018      Pct Move
  Singapore          3198.66        3068.76       4.23
  Bangkok            1589.7         1563.88       1.65
  Manila             7858.61        7,466.02      5.26
  Jakarta            6341.026       6,194.50      2.37
  Kuala Lumpur       1677.02        1690.58       -0.80
  Ho Chi Minh        902.28         892.54        1.09

 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
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