March 8, 2018 / 4:08 AM / in 7 months

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on hopes of exemptions in U.S. tariff plan

    * Singapore leads gains in region
    * Thai shares on track for 7th straight session of losses

    By Susan Mathew
    March 8 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
in thin trade on Thursday, on news U.S. President Donald Trump's
proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium may exclude some major
trade partners, including Canada and Mexico, soothing fears of
an impending trade war. 
    Worries of a trade war were rekindled on Wednesday after a
free trade proponent at the Trump administration, Gary Cohn,
announced his departure, sending markets down.

    "... White House Press Secretary (Sarah Huckabee) Sanders
did some damage control by suggesting that there are "potential
carve outs for Canada and Mexico based on national security, and
possibly other countries as well..."," OCBC Bank said in a note.

    Risk appetite, however, continues to be lower on the
implications of the proposed tariff, it added.
    In Southeast Asia, Singapore shares led the gains
with a 0.8 percent increase, buoyed by top banks.
    United Overseas Bank, DBS Group Holdings
and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp rose between 0.5
percent and 1.3 percent. 
    The Indonesian benchmark equity index, which dropped
more than 2 percent in the previous session, was 0.3 percent
higher. Bank Central Asia boosted the index the most,
ahead of annual results later in the day. 
    Telekom Indonesia logged gains of 1.5 percent.
    An index of the country's most liquid stocks rose
as much as 1.3 percent.
    The Thai index fell for a seventh straight session,
as energy stocks slumped. PTT Pcl and IRPC Pcl
 slipped 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
    Philippine stocks lost 0.6 percent, as financial
stocks such as BDO Unibank and Ayala Corp shed
over 2 percent each. 
    Asia shares excluding Japan were 0.8 percent
higher.
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0348 GMT
    
 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3478.04   3450.69         0.79
 Bangkok         1779.58   1781.64         -0.12
 Manila          8355.74   8404.69         -0.58
 Jakarta         6423.602  6368.267        0.87
 Kuala Lumpur    1843.43   1837.9          0.30
 Ho Chi Minh     1115.99   1112.26         0.34
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3478.04   3402.92         2.21
 Bangkok         1779.58   1753.71         1.48
 Manila          8355.74   8558.42         -2.37
 Jakarta         6423.602  6355.654        1.07
 Kuala Lumpur    1843.43   1796.81         2.59
 Ho Chi Minh     1115.99   984.24          13.39
 
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
Dwarakanath)
  
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