July 24, 2019 / 4:17 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain on revival of trade hopes; Philippines dips on profit-taking

    * Vietnam index extend gains to its highest in over three
    * Financials, Jollibee Foods drag Philippine stocks lower

    By Anushka Trivedi
    July 24 (Reuters) - Philippine shares slipped on Wednesday
on profit-booking after a recent rally in financials, while most
other Southeast Asian stock markets posted modest gains as
reports of headway in the protracted Sino-U.S. trade
negotiations hoisted risk sentiment.
    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday called
it a good sign that top U.S. officials would be travelling to
China to discuss reviving stalled trade talks, and said he
expected Beijing to start buying U.S. agriculture products soon.
    Sentiment was also lifted by the upcoming crucial central
bank meetings, where the European Central Bank is expected to at
least offer a nod to easier policy on Thursday, whereas a
quarter-point cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve is all but
    "Asia equity markets are feasting on the positive
after-effects from better-than-expected U.S. earnings and the
constructive vibe around the resumption of trade talks, while
the dovish central bank scrim is providing the icing on the
cake," Stephen Innes, Managing Partner at VanguardMarkets.com
    Singapore shares, which are among the most vulnerable
to trade war developments in the region, extended gains to edge
up 0.2%.
    The city-state also received a boost from prospects of an
easing monetary policy by its central bank after June's
inflation data came in at a more than two-year low.
    Shares of palm oil producer Golden-Agri Resources Ltd
 scaled 3.5%, while Hutchison Port Holdings Trust
 rose 2.3%.
    Vietnam's benchmark index extended gains to its
highest in more than three months, underpinned by financials.
    Malaysian stocks were largely unchanged, while
government data showed June consumer prices rose at their
fastest pace in more than a year.             
    Meanwhile, Philippine stocks shed 0.4%, with
financial stocks dragging the benchmark index lower.
    With the country's top three banks being the biggest
laggards in the index, Miguel Ong, a research analyst with AP
Securities said it could be more of profit-taking as financial
stocks led the sector rally in the last couple of sessions.
    Bank of the Philippine Islands and biggest lender
by market value BDO Unibank Inc slipped 1.7% and 1.8%,
respectively, while Jollibee Foods Inc dropped 2.4%. 
    Sentiment towards Jollibee stock was wavering as the Asian
fast-food giant is "expected to perform weakly in the second
quarter, especially the operations of Smashburger - the business
they invested on and acquired is expected to be a drag," Ong
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3380.93   3373.13         0.23
 Bangkok                1728.61   1724.87         0.22
 Manila                 8220.2    8251.46         -0.38
 Jakarta                6393.793  6403.81         -0.16
 Kuala Lumpur           1657.26   1655.67         0.10
 Ho Chi Minh            991.51    989.46          0.21
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3380.93   3068.76         10.17
 Bangkok                1728.61   1563.88         10.53
 Manila                 8220.2    7,466.02        10.10
 Jakarta                6393.793  6,194.50        3.22
 Kuala Lumpur           1657.26   1690.58         -1.97
 Ho Chi Minh            991.51    892.54          11.09
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Additional
reporting by Soumyajit Saha, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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