April 10, 2018 / 4:23 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most inch higher as Xi soothes U.S.-China trade war worries

    * U.S. S&P 500 E-mini futures rise more than 1 pct 
    * Broader Asian shares recoup losses, gain 0.8 pct
    * Vietnam hits fresh all-time peak before erasing gains

    By Nicole Pinto
    April 10 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
crawled higher on Tuesday as Chinese President Xi Jinping
promised to open the country's economy further and lower import
tariffs on products including cars, calming jitters over
U.S.-China trade tensions.
    Xi also said China would raise the foreign ownership limit
in the automobile sector "as soon as possible" and push
previously announced measures to open the financial sector.

    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 recovered from early losses and climbed 0.8
percent. U.S. S&P 500 E-mini futures rose more than 1 percent. 
    "With his speech, Xi is offering a solution to the Sino-U.S.
trade dispute," said Yang Hai, strategist at Kaiyuan Securities.
    "Xi's waving an olive branch, and the market is now waiting
to see how the U.S. side will play the card in response."
    Vietnam shares climbed 0.6 percent to a fresh record
before reversing course and trading lower. 
    Indonesian shares rose as much as 0.5 percent,
helped by financials, with Bank Central Asia Tbk PT up
over 1 percent. 
    The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
rose 0.6 percent. 
    Indonesian retail sales grew 1.5 percent in February from a
year earlier, supported by sales of clothing, a central bank
survey showed on Monday.   
    Singapore shares rose 0.3 percent to an over two-week
high, led by financials.  
    Malaysian shares gained 0.4 percent and were on
track to gain for a fourth consecutive session, underpinned by
an over 9 percent gain in Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd
.
    Philippine shares climbed, reversing course after
falling as much as 0.7 percent earlier in the session. 
    "There is continued weakness in the Philippine peso and that
has continued to pull down market sentiment", said Manny Cruz,
analyst at Asiasec Equities Inc.
    Thai shares were largely flat with Central Pattana
Pcl up 3.2 percent to hit a near one-month high, while
CP All Pcl shed 1.1 percent. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change as at 0418 GMT
                 Current   Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3457.69   3449.96         0.22
 Bangkok         1750.8    1751.27         -0.03
 Manila          7979.01   7945.66         0.42
 Jakarta         6276.351  6246.131        0.48
 Kuala Lumpur    1853.38   1849.71         0.20
 Ho Chi Minh     1201.5    1204.33         -0.23
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3457.69   3402.92         1.61
 Bangkok         1750.8    1753.71         -0.17
 Manila          7979.01   8558.42         -6.77
 Jakarta         6276.351  6355.654        -1.25
 Kuala Lumpur    1853.38   1796.81         3.15
 Ho Chi Minh     1201.5    984.24          22.07
 

 (Reporting by Nicole Pinto, additional reporting by Samuel
Shen; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
  
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