August 7, 2019 / 10:03 AM / 11 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on signs of easing trade tensions; Philippines leads gains

    * Genting Malaysia top loser in Malaysia 
    * Indonesia breaks from four sessions of losses

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Aug 7 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Wednesday, with Philippines rising nearly 2%, as the United
States and China toned down their hawkish trade rhetoric.
    Beijing helped pull the yuan back on Tuesday from its lowest
in over a decade, after Washington had labelled it a currency
manipulator in a tit-for-tat escalation of the trade war.

    Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic
Council, added to signs of relief after he said Washington was
willing to continue trade talks and planning to host a Chinese
delegation for talks in September.
    "Together with China's moderate CNY fixing yesterday,
(Kudlow's comment) has poured some soothing oil on troubled
market waters," ING Group said in a note to clients.
    ING Group added it was "an uneasy calm" and that Kudlow's
invitation "sounds a bit like being invited to the birthday
party of the kid who bullies you at school. I'd probably tell my
parents I didn't want to go".
    Philippine shares gained the most in Southeast Asia
ahead of a central bank policy decision on Thursday, with
heavyweights SM Prime Holdings and BDO Unibank
 rising 2.5% and 4% respectively.
    A Reuters poll shows the central bank is expected to cut
rates by 25 basis points, as July annual inflation slowed to a
two-year low.
    A smaller trade deficit in June also helped boost
sentiment.
    Indonesian shares advanced after four sessions of
losses, with lenders Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero)
and Bank Central Asia rising 4.2% and 2% respectively.
    Bank Indonesia's new senior deputy governor, Destry
Damayanti, said she expected "the direction of monetary policy
easing to last long into the future". The central bank had cut
its benchmark rate by 25 basis points last month.
    Malaysian stocks fell, dragged by tourist resort
business Genting Malaysia Bhd and related company
Genting Bhd. 
    Genting Malaysia plunged 11.9% after the company said it had
 decided to acquire and privatise loss-making Empire Resorts Inc
. Genting Bhd lost 7.1%.    
    Thai shares edged lower as gains after an unexpected
rate cut by the central bank were outweighed by losses in the
energy sector due to weak oil prices.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3184.69   3170.47         0.45
 Bangkok                1669.44   1671.48         -0.12
 Manila                 7917.39   7766.75         1.94
 Jakarta                6204.195  6119.471        1.38
 Kuala Lumpur           1604.7    1611.79         -0.44
 Ho Chi Minh            965.93    964.61          0.14
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3184.69   3068.76         3.78
 Bangkok                1669.44   1563.88         6.75
 Manila                 7917.39   7,466.02        6.05
 Jakarta                6204.195  6,194.50        0.16
 Kuala Lumpur           1604.7    1690.58         -5.08
 Ho Chi Minh            965.93    892.54          8.22
 
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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