September 21, 2018 / 3:41 AM / in a month

SE Asia Stocks-Rise on report of China's plan to slash import tariffs

    * Markets shake off wider trade war concerns
    * Philippine shares snap three-day losing streak
    * Thai shares up for a fourth day 

    By Sumeet Gaikwad
    Sept 21 (Reuters) - Philippine shares jumped on Friday after
a report that China would cut import tariffs for most of its
trading partners, sidelining wider trade war worries, while
Singapore shares hit their highest in over two weeks.
    China plans to reduce the average tariff rate on imports
from most of its trading partners as early as October, Bloomberg
News reported on Thursday. In July, China had cut import tariffs
on almost 1,500 consumer products as part of efforts to open up
its economy. 
    Markets were unfazed by the most recent round U.S.-China
tariffs, which were set at lower rates than previously expected,
raising hopes that hostilities between the world's two largest
economies may be easing.
    The Philippine index snapped a three-session losing
streak to gain 2.1 percent, but is poised for a third straight
week of declines. 
    Financial and industrial stocks led the gains on the
benchmark with SM Investments Corp rising 1.9 percent,
while BDO Unibank was up 3.2 percent.
    "China is considering tariff rate cuts on imports on a
majority of its trading partners. So, in effect, this would trim
the impact of a possible blowout of the U.S.-China trade war on
global trade. So, the positive outlook benefited emerging
markets," said Fio De Jesus, an analyst at Manila-based RCBC
Securities. 
    Consumer and financial stocks helped the Singapore index
 hit an over-two-week high, in line to post gains for a
second consecutive week. 
    The city-state's top lender, DBS Group Holdings,
and beer maker Thai Beverage were up over 2 percent
each.
    The Jakarta index rose for a third straight session
on the back of gains in financial stocks.
    Bank Mandiri and Bank Negara Indonesia
rose 2.6 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
    The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
was up 0.2 percent. 
    Thai shares extended gains into a fourth session
with sectors climbing across the board. The index is set to
record a second straight week of gains.
    Index heavyweights PTT Pcl and SIAM Cement
were up 0.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
    Thailand is scheduled to release customs-based trade data
for August in the coming week. The country's customs-cleared
annual exports may have risen 5 percent in August, a Reuters
poll showed, slowing from an 8.27 percent increase in the
previous month.
    Malaysian shares were up for a third straight
session, while Vietnam rose 0.4 percent. 
        
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0338GMT
 Market          Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3206.76  3180.43         0.83
 Bangkok         1760.29  1752.11         0.47
 Manila          7279.85  7134.73         2.03
 Jakarta         5946.16  5931.266        0.25
 Kuala Lumpur    1811.15  1803.7          0.41
 Ho Chi Minh     1008.42  1004.74         0.37
                                          
 Change on year                           
 Market          Current  End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3206.76  3402.92         -5.76
 Bangkok         1760.29  1753.71         0.38
 Manila          7279.85  8558.42         -14.94
 Jakarta         5946.16  6355.654        -6.44
 Kuala Lumpur    1811.15  1796.81         0.80
 Ho Chi Minh     1008.42  984.24          2.46
 
 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil
Nair)
  
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