August 7, 2019 / 4:13 AM / 15 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines, Indonesia rise as U.S., China allay trade war fears

    * Thailand nearly flat as energy, banking stocks drag
    * Indonesia snaps four sessions of losses

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Aug 7 (Reuters) - Philippine and Indonesian shares gained
more than 1% Wednesday, after Beijing and Washington stepped up
to ease escalating trade war tensions, while Malaysia fell
dragged down by consumer stocks.    
    Chinese authorities intervened to steady the yuan on Tuesday
after letting it slide to its lowest in over a decade on the
previous day, which had sparked accusations of currency
manipulation from the United States and threatened to spread the
trade war into the currency space.
    U.S. President Donald Trump then played down fears of a
protraction in the trade war, tweeting that "massive amounts of
money from China and other parts of the world" were coming into
the U.S. economy.
    "Acceleration towards an all-out trade war between the U.S.
and China appears to have been averted, at least for the
moment," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at VM Markets Pte
Ltd. 
    Real estate and banking stocks pushed up Philippine's
benchmark more than 1%. Property developer SM Prime
Holdings rose 1.7%, while lender BDO Unibank advanced
1.4%.
    Philippines' trade deficit narrowed as imports fell 10.4%,
while exports grew 1.5%.
    The banking sector helped Indonesian shares gain,
with lenders Bank Central Asia and Bank Rakyat
Indonesia (Persero) rising 1.6% each.
    Meanwhile, the Malaysian index fell, hurt by losses
in the consumer cyclical sector.
    Tourism company Genting Malaysia Bhd and related
group Genting Bhd fell 10.8% and 5.3%, respectively,
after Genting Malaysia decided to acquire and privatise the
loss-making Empire Resorts Inc.  
    Thai stocks also edged marginally lower, hurt by
losses in the energy and banking sectors.
    Lender Bank of Ayudhya fell 1.3%, while oil
explorer PTT Exploration and Production lost 1.2%.
    Thailand's central bank is widely expected to hold its
benchmark rate steady in a meeting later today, a Reuters poll
showed, despite slowing growth and easing moves by its regional
peers.
    Energy stocks were also hurt by the a drop in oil prices
overnight, as escalating trade war fears had ignited worries
over demand.
 
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as on 0408 GMT
 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3173.22   3170.47         0.09
 Bangkok                1671.38   1671.48         -0.01
 Manila                 7846.92   7766.75         1.03
 Jakarta                6207.327  6119.471        1.44
 Kuala Lumpur           1605.22   1611.79         -0.41
 Ho Chi Minh            966.63    964.61          0.21
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3173.22   3068.76         3.40
 Bangkok                1671.38   1563.88         6.87
 Manila                 7846.92   7,466.02        5.10
 Jakarta                6207.327  6,194.50        0.21
 Kuala Lumpur           1605.22   1690.58         -5.05
 Ho Chi Minh            966.63    892.54          8.30
 

 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
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