August 20, 2018 / 4:21 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain on optimism ahead of U.S.-China trade talks

    * Singapore snaps 6-session losing streak
    * Thai shares headed for 3rd straight session of gains
    * Indonesia sees best session in two weeks

    Aug 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Monday ahead of the Sino-U.S. trade talks due later in the
week, with Indonesia climbing more than 1 percent on broad-based
buying.
    China and the United States are set to hold lower-level
trade talks on Wednesday, offering hope that they might resolve
an escalating tariff war that threatens to engulf all trade
between the world's two largest economies.
    "Even if nothing conclusive may be achieved this week, there
could be an implicit promise of a ceasefire with no escalation
in the interim," Mizuho Bank said in a note.
    The Jakarta index started the week on a strong note,
rising as much as 1.6 percent, after a long weekend. Financial
markets in Indonesia were closed on Friday for a national
holiday. 
    Consumer products maker Astra International, up
2.5 percent, led the gains while communications service provider
Telekomunikasi Indonesia added 1.2 percent.
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
was up 2 percent.
    "Most of the negatives have been already baked into the
cake. What the market needed was some kind of a relief," said
Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
    It has come in the form of trade talks, Shim added. 
    Thai stocks were trading 0.5 percent higher, helped
by gains in energy stocks, and were set to end firmer for a
third straight session. Oil and gas producer PTT rose
nearly over 1 percent. 
    Thailand's economy grew at a slower pace in April-June than
in the previous quarter, but in line with forecast, with data
showing the economy expanded 1 percent over the previous three
months on a seasonally adjusted basis.
    Financials and industrials were among the top gainers, with
Siam Commercial Bank and Airports of Thailand
adding more than 1 percent.
    Meanwhile, Singapore was marginally up on financials.
    The city-state's top lender DBS Group Holdings
gained 0.5 percent while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp
rose 0.8 percent. 
    However, Philippines shares edged lower as losses in
financials offset gains in real estate stocks. 
    Index heavyweights Ayala Corp and Ayala Land
 were down 3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. 
        
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0414 GMT
 STOCK MARKETS                               
 Change on the day                           
 Market             Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3217.06  3209.44         0.24
 Bangkok            1698.92  1690.04         0.53
 Manila             7562.98  7583.52         -0.27
 Jakarta            5873.97  5783.798        1.56
 Kuala Lumpur       1788.4   1783.47         0.28
 Ho Chi Minh        970.55   968.88          0.17
                                             
 Change on year                              
 Market             Current  End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3217.06  3402.92         -5.46
 Bangkok            1698.92  1753.71         -3.12
 Manila             7562.98  8558.42         -11.63
 Jakarta            5873.97  6355.654        -7.58
 Kuala Lumpur       1788.4   1796.81         -0.47
 Ho Chi Minh        970.55   984.24          -1.39
 

 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru)
  
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