April 1, 2019 / 10:20 AM / 7 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore gains on China factory rebound; Malaysia ends at 2-yr low

    * China's positive March PMI data bolsters sentiment
Thailand posts four sessions of gains in five
    * Philippines snaps two straight sessions of gains 

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    April 1 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks rose on Monday to their
highest in nearly a month as a rebound in Chinese factory
activity data and progress in U.S.-Sino trade talks boosted
sentiment, while Philippines dropped more than 1 percent to hit
a two-week closing low. 
     China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly returned to
growth for the first time in four months in March, in a sign
that government stimulus measures may be slowly gaining
traction, a private business survey showed on Monday.

    "Hopes on near-term stabilization for Chinese economy
heightens after China's March PMI rebounded strongly back to
expansionary territory, overshadowing the weak industrial profit
data for the first two months," a note from OCBC said.
    A recovery in the economy of China - Southeast Asia's
biggest trading partner - could bring a relief in the regional
markets as well. 
    Singapore stocks extended gains to close at their
highest since March 4, with financials being the biggest boost
on the index. 
    The largest-listed company on the index DBS Group Holdings
 posted a 1.4 percent gain on the day, while
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp closed 1.5 percent
    Energy and telecom stocks boosted the Thai index 0.4
percent higher. 
    Thai hotelier Dusit Thani PCL and mall operator
Central Pattana PCL on Monday said they plan to invest
36.7 billion baht ($1.16 billion) in a mixed-use property
development in Bangkok's central business district.
    Shares of Dusit Thani and Central Pattana ended 2.9 percent
and 2.1 percent higher, respectively. 
    Vietnam stocks closed 0.8 percent higher on the back
of consumer and real estate stocks. 
    Meanwhile, Philippine stocks dropped more than 1
percent, snapping two straight sessions of gains, with
financials dragging the index lower. 
    The World Bank on Monday cut its economic growth forecasts
for the Philippines for this year and next due to a delay in the
2019 budget approval and a slowdown in global trade that could
hurt the country's exports.
    BDO Unibank Inc and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co
 shed 2.8 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. 
    Malaysian stocks slipped to their lowest close since
Dec. 27, 2016, dented by losses in financial and healthcare
    Shares of Public Bank Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd
 closed down 2.9 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3250.51   3212.88         1.17
 Bangkok                1644.64   1638.65         0.37
 Manila                 7840.31   7920.93         -1.02
 Jakarta                6452.611  6468.755        -0.25
 Kuala Lumpur           1628.66   1643.63         -0.91
 Ho Chi Minh            988.53    980.76          0.79
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3250.51   3068.76         5.92
 Bangkok                1644.64   1563.88         5.16
 Manila                 7840.31   7,466.02        5.01
 Jakarta                6452.611  6,194.50        4.17
 Kuala Lumpur           1628.66   1690.58         -3.66
 Ho Chi Minh            988.53    892.54          10.75

 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry
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