January 18, 2019 / 4:10 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on hopes of Sino-U.S. trade war relief

    * Indonesia set to snap three sessions of gains
    * Philippines on track to rise for second straight day

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    Jan 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Friday taking cues from broader Asia, with Philippines
leading gains, after a media report on progress in U.S.-China
trade talks stirred hopes of a deal in their tariff dispute and
supported risk sentiment. 
     U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had discussed
lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and had
suggested offering a tariff rollback during trade discussions
scheduled for Jan. 30, according to a Wall Street Journal report
citing people familiar with the internal deliberations.

    However, a Treasury spokesperson denied the report saying
the process with China is nowhere near completion.
    While the news boosted sentiment in the market, analysts are
of the opinion that "alleged equity market motivations of the
rumour/speculation" might hamper trade agreements.
    "If calming financial markets is indeed the main motivation
for any conciliatory moves on U.S.-China trade tariffs, it begs
the question of durability of any subsequent trade talks'
outcome," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank.
    Despite the denial from the Treasury department, global
equity markets advanced as investors turned optimistic about
softening trade tensions. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan added 0.7 percent. 
    Industrial and financial stocks drove the Philippine
benchmark index 1 percent higher, leading gains in the
region. 
    Shares of BDO Unibank Inc climbed 1.9 percent,
while those of Ayala Corp advanced 1.6 percent.    
    The Singapore index recovered from the losses of the
previous session owing to a fall in the country's December
exports, to rise 0.2 percent. 
    Financial stocks largely pulled the index higher, with
shares of DBS Group Holdings Ltd and United Overseas
Bank Ltd rising 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent,
respectively. 
    However, the Indonesian index bucked the trend to
fall slightly, dragged by consumer staples and financial stocks.
     The country's central bank on Thursday held its key rate
unchanged and the governor indicated that its cycle of
aggressive tightening in 2018 was "near its peak", thanks to
"dovish" recent signals from the U.S. Federal
Reserve.         
    

    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0400 GMT
    
 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3221.21  3214.44         0.21
 Bangkok                1582.25  1580.3          0.12
 Manila                 8005.73  7927.2          0.99
 Jakarta                6421.22  6423.78         -0.04
 Kuala Lumpur           1685.8   1682.97         0.17
 Ho Chi Minh            901.48   901.89          -0.05
                                                 
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3221.21  3068.76         4.97
 Bangkok                1582.25  1563.88         1.17
 Manila                 8005.73  7,466.02        7.23
 Jakarta                6421.22  6,194.50        3.66
 Kuala Lumpur           1685.8   1690.58         -0.28
 Ho Chi Minh            901.48   892.54          1.00
 


 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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