December 2, 2019 / 4:34 AM / 12 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain as upbeat China data eases slowdown worries

    * China's factory activity grows after seven months
    * Indonesian index rises on gains in consumer, banking
sectors
    * Thai drops after data shows inflation rate below c.bank
target

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Dec 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets started
the week on the front foot, as upbeat manufacturing surveys from
China - the region's biggest trading partner - eased fears of an
economic slowdown in the world's second-largest economy,
boosting investor sentiment.
    Data on Saturday showed that factory activity in China
returned to growth for the first time in seven months, as
accelerated stimulus measures from the government helped push up
domestic demand.
    Global equities also enjoyed a boost after the Caixin/Markit
Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a private survey
of factory activity believed to include firms that are more
export-oriented, expanded at its quickest pace in almost three
years.  
    "Better-than-expected pick-up in China's manufacturing,
crucially with a surprise recovery back into expansionary
regions has triggered some optimism," Mizuho Bank said in a note
to clients. 
    However, "with no imminent resolution to U.S.-China trade
discussions, and with just two weeks left to the mid-December
tariff deadline, caution may be the flavour of the month," the
note added.
    While U.S. legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters last
week raised concerns about trade negotiations, investors are
nonetheless holding the broad view that a further escalation in
the trade war can be avoided.
    The Indonesian index touched its highest in almost a
week, helped by consumer and banking sectors. 
    Lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) advanced
1.9%, while cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna
gained over 3%.       
    Data showed on Monday that the country's annual inflation
rate slowed for a third straight month in November, as expected.

    The Malaysian index marked its best session in two
weeks, with Hong Leong Bank rising 0.9% and telecom co
Axiata Group Bhd advancing 1.2%.
    Bucking the broader trend, Thai stocks dropped after
data showed that the country's headline consumer price index
rose 0.21% in November from last year, but came in lower than
expected.
    Lender Siam Commercial Bank was down 1.7%, while
telco Advance Info Service dropped 2.4%.  
   
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0419 GMT
  STOCK MARKETS                                               
  Change on the day                                           
  Market                   Current       Previous     Pct Move
                                         close        
  Singapore                3200.33       3193.92       0.20
  Bangkok                  1572.17       1590.59      -1.16
  Manila                   7808.85       7738.96       0.90
  Jakarta                  6085.459      6011.83       1.22
  Kuala Lumpur             1569.23       1561.74       0.48
 Ho Chi Minh               969.22        970.75       -0.16
                                                      
  Change so far in 2019                               
  Market                   Current       End 2018     Pct Move
  Singapore                3200.33       3068.76      4.29
  Bangkok                  1572.17       1563.88      0.53
  Manila                   7808.85       7,466.02     4.59
  Jakarta                  6085.459      6,194.50     -1.76
  Kuala Lumpur             1569.23       1690.58      -7.18
  Ho Chi Minh              969.22        892.54       8.59
 
    

 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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