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Soumyajit Saha

SE Asia Stocks-End higher as Sino-U.S. trade talks bolster risk appetite

11 Oct 2019

* China, U.S. set for second day of high-level trade talks * Indonesia expected to post trade surplus for September * Philippines rises for week after three weeks of losses By Soumyajit Saha Oct 11 Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Friday as risk sentiment was boosted by signs of progress in China-U.S. trade talks. China's foreign ministry said it hoped for more progress in trade consultations, while U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said negotiations were going "very, very good". Trump said he planned to host China's top negotiator and vice premier, Liu He, at the White House later on Friday. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce official said chances of a partial deal, with agreements on issues such as currencies and copyright protections, were higher. "The suspense of whether diplomatic furore, including the 'blacklist', would prematurely blow an interim deal out of the water appears to be assuaged, if not lifted," Mizuho bank said in a note to clients. "Key to this turn in sentiments was the revival of discussions on a currency deal; forming the basis for a quid pro quo suspension of tariff escalation." Indonesian stocks closed at their highest in more than a week, helped by heavyweights like Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna rise 3.7%. An index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks rose 1.5%. Indonesia is expected to post a trade surplus for a second straight month in September amid a slower pace of decline in exports and imports, a Reuters poll predicted ahead of official data out Tuesday. Real estate and consumer sectors lifted the Philippine index as it gained 1.9% for the week, after three weeks of declines. Property developer Ayala Land advanced 2.5%, while conglomerate SM Investments gained 1%. Thai stocks ended higher to close the week 1.3% firmer, helped by gains in the energy and utility sectors. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3113.97 3089.48 0.79 Bangkok 1626 1607.5 1.15 Manila 7849.94 7765.03 1.09 Jakarta 6105.8 6023.641 1.36 Kuala Lumpur 1556.84 1551.87 0.32 Ho Chi Minh 991.84 987.38 0.45 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3113.97 3068.76 1.47 Bangkok 1626 1563.88 3.97 Manila 7849.94 7,466.02 5.14 Jakarta 6105.8 6,194.50 -1.43 Kuala Lumpur 1556.84 1690.58 -7.91 Ho Chi Minh 991.84 892.54 11.13 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru Editing by Robert Birsel)

SE Asia Stocks-Gain as Sino-U.S. trade optimism boosts risk appetite

11 Oct 2019

* China, U.S. set for second day of high-level trade talks * World Bank cuts growth forecast for Philippines * Singapore set to close 0.8% higher on-week By Soumyajit Saha Oct 11 Southeast Asian stock markets opened higher on Friday, with Indonesia leading the gains, as revived optimism over the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade talks boosted investor sentiment. Market sentiment turned positive after a first day of trade talks between top U.S. and Chinese negotiators that Trump characterised as "very, very good." Chances of reaching "early harvest" agreements on issues such as currencies and copyright protections were higher, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official said, while U.S. President Donald Trump said senior U.S. delegates had "very, very good negotiations with China". "All commentaries coming from the first day of talks seemed to be helping the markets in the region, given this is something everyone was waiting for," said Joel Ng, an analyst with KGI Securities. Banking and resource sectors lifted the Indonesian index to its highest in more than two weeks. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) gained 0.8%, while petrochemicals company Barito Pacific jumped 4%. An index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.8%. Philippine shares hit a two-week high, propped up by gains in banking and real-estate sectors, and were set to end 1.6% firmer for the week. Citing pressure from the U.S.-China trade war, the World Bank on Thursday cut its forecasts for economic growth in the Philippines for 2019 and the next two years. Singapore stocks were poised to mark a weekly gain of 0.8%, with index heavyweight United Overseas Bank rising 1.4%. Malaysian shares edged up after data on Friday showed that the country's industrial production rose 1.9% in August from a year earlier. The rise was a touch below the 2% expansion forecast in a Reuters poll, while July's factory output rose 1.2% on year. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0420 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3110.62 3089.48 0.68 Bangkok 1616.5 1607.5 0.56 Manila 7825.09 7765.03 0.77 Jakarta 6085.168 6023.641 1.02 Kuala Lumpur 1555.49 1551.87 0.23 Ho Chi Minh 988.14 987.38 0.08 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3110.62 3068.76 1.36 Bangkok 1616.5 1563.88 3.36 Manila 7825.09 7,466.02 4.81 Jakarta 6085.168 6,194.50 -1.76 Kuala Lumpur 1555.49 1690.58 -7.99 Ho Chi Minh 988.14 892.54 10.71 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most end lower, trade fears turn investors cautious

10 Oct 2019

* High-level Sino-U.S. trade talks to begin on Thursday * World Bank says Asia-Pacific economic growth to slow * Thai cenbank officials say economy growing below potential By Soumyajit Saha Oct 10 Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed in the red on Thursday amid cautious mood as market participants awaited high-level Sino-U.S. trade talks to begin, while Philippines ended over 1% firmer. The first minister-level trade talks in months is slated to begin later in the day, as the world's top two economies attempt to blunt the blow of a tit-for-tat tariff war that has battered growth worldwide. Elsewhere, a World Bank report said Asia Pacific economies are expected to slow this year due to uncertainty around trade tensions, while a slowdown in major global economies could further hurt the region's exports. "I think we will see people taking a more cautionary approach and holding positions, given the risk that the outcome of the talk might have a negative impact on the markets," said Linus Loo, head of research, Lim & Tan Securities. Real-estate and banking sectors boosted the Philippines' benchmark index to close over 1% higher, though trading took place in low volumes. Property developer SM Prime Holdings gained 1.6%, while Bank of the Philippine Islands was up 1.7%. "Discounting the AllHome listing, the activity is low given that there is no new information from the trade talks, so it doesn't add much to the relative strength," Charles William Ang, associate analyst at COL Financial Group said. Home furnishing retailer AllHome Corp opened slightly higher in their stock market debut after a $250 million share sale excluding over-allotment option. Philippines' trade deficit narrowed to $2.41 billion in August from a deficit of $3.39 billion in July, as exports rose 0.6% year-on-year. Industrial and banking sectors weighed on the Thai index as it closed lower for a seventh session in nine. Cement maker Siam Cement lost 2.9%, while lender Central Pattana ended down 2%. Thailand's economy is not in recession but growing below potential, and the Bank of Thailand is ready to take action if needed, central bank officials said on Thursday. Stocks in Singapore, which is among the most vulnerable to the trade dispute with China being the region's biggest trading partner, ended at their lowest in nearly a week, dented by losses in industrial and real-estate sectors. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3089.48 3089.9 -0.01 Bangkok 1607.5 1616.18 -0.54 Manila 7765.03 7681.25 1.09 Jakarta 6023.641 6029.16 -0.09 Kuala Lumpur 1551.87 1551.23 0.04 Ho Chi Minh 987.38 987.83 -0.05 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3089.48 3068.76 0.68 Bangkok 1607.5 1563.88 2.79 Manila 7765.03 7,466.02 4.00 Jakarta 6023.641 6,194.50 -2.76 Kuala Lumpur 1551.87 1690.58 -8.20 Ho Chi Minh 987.38 892.54 10.63 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru)

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets tepid amid trade anxiety; Philippines rises

10 Oct 2019

* High-level Sino-U.S. trade talks to begin on Thursday * The Philippines' Aug trade deficit narrows on-month * Energy and banking sectors dent Thailand index By Soumyajit Saha Oct 10 Philippine stocks rose in low volumes, while most other Southeast Asian markets held steady on Thursday, as investors remained cautious as neither Washington nor Beijing had shown signs of giving ground at the trade negotiations. U.S. S&P500 mini futures tumbled after media reports cited that no progress was made in the deputy-level trade talks, and that the Chinese delegation was planning to leave Washington on Thursday after just one day of high-level talks, instead of Friday as originally planned. Washington is weighing a currency pact with China as part of a partial deal that could see a planned tariff hike next week being suspended, Bloomberg reported citing sources familiar with the talks. "I think we will see neutral markets as people are taking a more cautionary approach and holding positions, given the risk that the outcome of the talk might have a negative impact on the markets," said Linus Loo, head of research, Lim & Tan Securities. Hopes for a breakthrough are not high, but some investors are trying to scale back their positions, at least temporarily, because the outcome of the trade negotiations cannot be predicted. The Singapore index, which is among the most vulnerable to the trade dispute with China being the region's biggest trading partner, dropped to its weakest since Oct. 4. Meanwhile, real-estate and banking sectors lifted the Philippines' benchmark index, though volumes traded on Thursday were a fraction of their monthly average. Property developer SM Prime Holdings gained 1.6%, while Bank of the Philippine Islands was up 1.7%. Philippines' trade deficit narrowed to $2.41 billion in August from a deficit of $3.39 billion in July, as exports rose 0.6% year-on-year. Indonesian shares edged a tick higher, with Chandra Asri Petrochemical climbing 1.8% and conglomerate Astra International rising 0.8%. The Thai index set to close lower for a seventh session in nine, dented by losses in energy and banking sectors. Gas explorer PTT PCL dropped 2.2%, while lender Siam Commercial Bank fell 0.9%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0420 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3085.98 3089.9 -0.13 Bangkok 1609.98 1616.18 -0.38 Manila 7730.18 7681.25 0.64 Jakarta 6034.329 6029.16 0.09 Kuala Lumpur 1550.73 1551.23 -0.03 Ho Chi Minh 990.34 987.83 0.25 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3085.98 3068.76 0.56 Bangkok 1609.98 1563.88 2.95 Manila 7730.18 7,466.02 3.54 Jakarta 6034.329 6,194.50 -2.59 Kuala Lumpur 1550.73 1690.58 -8.27 Ho Chi Minh 990.34 892.54 10.96 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as rising U.S.-China tensions dent trade deal hopes

09 Oct 2019

* Sino-U.S. trade talks slated to start Thursday * Philippine c.bank gov signals end of rate cuts for 2019 * Malaysia touches lowest close in over 4 years By Soumyajit Saha Oct 9 Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Wednesday as rising tensions between the United States and China punctured hopes of a trade deal with talks slated to begin on Thursday. The dispute intensified after Washington imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials over the mistreatment of Muslim minorities, a day from the Commerce Department blacklisting various Chinese companies for the same reason. Thursday's meetings, the first ministerial-level meeting in months, is being monitored for signs of respite from a tariff war that has deeply damaged global economic growth. "The movement is definitely reactionary given that there is little expectations of a deal now, and we will also have to look out for Chinese retaliation," said Joel Ng, an analyst with KGI Securities. Philippine shares dropped 1%, reversing strong gains from the day before, as the country's central bank governor said further rate cuts this year are unlikely. Index heavyweights SM Prime Holdings and SM Investments Corp fell 1.7% and 1.9% respectively. Singapore's benchmark index snapped two sessions of gains to fall, weighed down by banking and industrial shares. Southeast Asia's largest bank, DBS Group Holdings, lost 0.7%, while conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings was trading 2% down. Malaysian stocks closed at their lowest in over four years, hurt by losses in the banking and consumer sectors. Malayan Banking fell 0.8%, while palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantation dropped 1%. Bucking the general trend, Thai stocks rose, helped by gains in the utility sector, with electricity distributor Global Power Synergy rising 5%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3089.9 3110.85 -0.67 Bangkok 1616.18 1612.17 0.25 Manila 7681.25 7756.72 -0.97 Jakarta 6029.16 6039.601 -0.17 Kuala Lumpur 1551.23 1558.79 -0.48 Ho Chi Minh 987.83 988.22 -0.04 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3089.9 3068.76 0.69 Bangkok 1616.18 1563.88 3.34 Manila 7681.25 7,466.02 2.88 Jakarta 6029.16 6,194.50 -2.67 Kuala Lumpur 1551.23 1690.58 -8.24 Ho Chi Minh 987.83 892.54 10.68 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich)

SE Asia Stocks-Most weaken as Sino-U.S. standoff broadens

09 Oct 2019

* Sino-U.S. trade talks set to start on Thursday * Philippine c.bank gov signals end of rate cuts for 2019 * Singapore set to snap two sessions of gains By Soumyajit Saha Oct 9 Most Southeast Asian stock markets dropped on Wednesday, as tensions between the United States and China heightened hours ahead of high-level negotiations, denting hopes of a trade deal. Washington imposed visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials over abuses of Muslim minorities. The move came only hours after the Trump administration widened its trade blacklist to include some of China's top artificial intelligence startups. High-level talks between the world's top two economies on trade are due to resume on Thursday. The negotiations, which are the global markets' most important catalyst for months, have weighed on investor sentiment. "The movement is definitely reactionary given that there is little expectations of a deal now, and we will also have to look out for a Chinese retaliation," said Joel Ng, an analyst with KGI Securities. "I think more bad news is yet to come." Philippine stocks shed previous session's rally to drop as much as 1% after the central bank said that last month's rate cut could be the last of 2019. The biggest laggards in the index were real estate and consumer sectors. Property developer SM Prime Holdings was down 1.7%, while conglomerate SM Investments Corp fell 1%. Singapore shares were on track to snap two sessions of gains, dragged by industrial and financial sectors. Lender DBS Group Holdings was trading 0.8% down, while conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings lost 1.4%. Losses in the banking and healthcare sectors weighed on Malaysian stocks, with Malayan Banking falling 0.6%, while hospital operator IHH Healthcare dropped 0.7%. Bucking the sombre mood, Vietnam index traded marginally higher. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0400 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3098.06 3110.85 -0.41 Bangkok 1607.07 1612.17 -0.32 Manila 7700.45 7756.72 -0.73 Jakarta 6033.072 6039.601 -0.11 Kuala Lumpur 1551.38 1558.79 -0.48 Ho Chi Minh 989.87 988.22 0.17 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3098.06 3068.76 0.95 Bangkok 1607.07 1563.88 2.76 Manila 7700.45 7,466.02 3.14 Jakarta 6033.072 6,194.50 -2.61 Kuala Lumpur 1551.38 1690.58 -8.23 Ho Chi Minh 989.87 892.54 10.90 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most end higher as markets hopeful on Sino-U.S. trade talks

08 Oct 2019

* Singapore lifted by industrials * China services sector growth data disappoints * Philippines at highest close in over a week By Soumyajit Saha Oct 8 Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Tuesday as investors turned their focus to Sino-U.S. trade talks due later this week, hoping that further tariffs between the world's two biggest economies can be avoided. China, Southeast Asia's biggest trading partner, and the United States will on Thursday look to work on resolving a tit-for-tat tariff war that has battered economies worldwide, with markets looking for signs of resolution during the first minister-level negotiations in months. Equities markets in China rose after a week-long holiday. "Price action suggests the markets are expecting, at the very least, further tariffs to be deferred," Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist, AxiTrader said in a note to clients. Weak U.S. manufacturing data along with continued signs of weakness in the Chinese economy provide incentives for a temporary deal, Innes added. Earlier in the day, data from a private survey showed that China's services sector grew at its slowest pace in seven months in September. Banking and consumer sectors helped the Philippine index rise to its highest close in more than a week. Conglomerate SM Investments Corp gained 2.1%, while lender BDO Unibank was up 3.3%. Indonesian stocks rose after falling about 1% in the previous session, propped up by gains in the banking and consumer sectors. Lender Bank Mandiri (Persero) rose 2.4%, while consumer goods manufacturer Unilever Indonesia climbed 1.7%. An index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks was up 0.75% Singapore shares advanced, helped by gains in the industrial sector. Jardine Matheson Holdings was up 1.6%, while Jardine Strategic Holdings rose 1.2% For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3110.85 3099.48 0.37 Bangkok 1612.17 1613.71 -0.10 Manila 7756.72 7683.22 0.96 Jakarta 6039.601 6000.582 0.65 Kuala Lumpur 1558.79 1559 -0.01 Ho Chi Minh 988.22 983.09 0.52 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3110.85 3068.76 1.37 Bangkok 1612.17 1563.88 3.09 Manila 7756.72 7,466.02 3.89 Jakarta 6039.601 6,194.50 -2.50 Kuala Lumpur 1558.79 1690.58 -7.80 Ho Chi Minh 988.22 892.54 10.72 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain as China opens firmer after week-long break

08 Oct 2019

* China rises as trade talks set to kick off on Thursday * Financial and industrial sectors lift Singapore stocks * Thai cabinet approves larger 2020 budget By Soumyajit Saha Oct 8 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday as markets in China, the region's biggest trading partner, opened firmer after a week-long holiday and as traders turned their focus to pivotal Sino-U.S. trade negotiations in Washington later this week. High-level talks between the United States and China are set to kick off on Thursday, while deputy trade negotiators from both countries launched a round of talks at the start of the week, with markets looking for signs of a resolution. "The general feeling in Chinese equity markets is quite positive and that's a pretty convincing signal to other equity markets in Asia," said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist, AxiTrader. The Philippine index gained as much as 1% to its highest in more than a week. Conglomerate SM Investments Corp rose 2.5%, while lender BDO Unibank climbed 1.2%. Financial and industrial sectors lifted Singapore shares to their highest since Oct. 2, with United Overseas Bank gaining 1.4% and conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings rising 1.5%. Thai stocks extended gains for a second session after a cabinet approved a budget of 3.2 trillion baht ($104.99 billion) for the 2020 fiscal year to bolster Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, which was growing at its weakest pace in nearly five years. The bourse was underpinned by banking and industrial sectors, with lender Central Pattana PCL climbing 0.8%, while Airports of Thailand rose 0.3%. However, Malaysian shares edged lower, dented by heavy losses in healthcare and energy sectors. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 04:55 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3117.53 3099.48 0.58 Bangkok 1618.88 1613.71 0.32 Manila 7754 7683.22 0.92 Jakarta 6023.281 6000.582 0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1558.3 1559 -0.04 Ho Chi Minh 982.85 983.09 -0.02 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3117.53 3068.76 1.59 Bangkok 1618.88 1563.88 3.52 Manila 7754 7,466.02 3.86 Jakarta 6023.281 6,194.50 -2.76 Kuala Lumpur 1558.3 1690.58 -7.82 Ho Chi Minh 982.85 892.54 10.12 ($1 = 30.4800 baht) (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore recovers on Keppel, Sembcorp

07 Oct 2019

* Consumer, banking stocks weigh on Indonesia * Thailand advances on banking stocks By Soumyajit Saha Oct 7 Singapore shares snapped three sessions of losses on Monday, helped by Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Industries as the two index heavyweights reached settlements with indebted Brazilian firm Sete Brasil, while consumer and banking stocks sent Indonesia lower. Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Industries said they struck settlements with Sete Brasil over long-standing contracts to build drillships and rigs. Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index closed 0.7% higher, after shedding 2.2% in the previous three sessions. Keppel Corp rose 1.7%, while Sembcorp Industries gained 1%. Meanwhile, investors waited to see if the United States and China could find a way at upcoming trade talks to end their more than year-long tariff dispute. Earlier in the day, Bloomberg reported that Chinese officials had narrowed down the list of topics they were willing to negotiate on in talks, adding to market uncertainties. Indonesian shares dropped over 1%, dragged mainly by the consumer and banking sectors. Consumer goods maker Unilever Indonesia lost 3%, while lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) dropped 1.3%. A lower-than-expected consumer confidence in September contributed to the downturn in the market, said Hariyanto Wijaya, head of research at Mirae Assets Sekuritas. Indonesia's consumer confidence index was at 121.8 in September, against 123.1 in August, according to a central bank survey out on Friday. Thai shares advanced in thin trade, with banking stocks leading the gains. Lender Kasikornbank rose 2%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3099.48 3078.36 0.69 Bangkok 1613.71 1605.96 0.48 Manila 7683.22 7704.6 -0.28 Jakarta 6000.582 6061.252 -1.00 Kuala Lumpur 1559 1557.67 0.09 Ho Chi Minh 983.09 987.59 -0.46 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3099.48 3068.76 1.00 Bangkok 1613.71 1563.88 3.19 Manila 7683.22 7,466.02 2.91 Jakarta 6000.582 6,194.50 -3.13 Kuala Lumpur 1559 1690.58 -7.78 Ho Chi Minh 983.09 892.54 10.15 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore tracks Wall Street gains, most others little changed

07 Oct 2019

* Singapore boosted by gains in financials * Banks and energy stocks help Thailand By Soumyajit Saha Oct 7 Singapore stocks snapped three sessions of losses to gain on Monday, while most other southeast Asian stock markets were little changed in thin volumes as markets in China and Hong Kong were closed for a public holiday. Gains in financial and telecommunication sectors helped the city-state rise, with lender DBS Group Holdings gaining 1% and Singapore Telecommunications up 1.3%. "Singapore is reacting in response to the strength in the U.S. markets on Friday," Linus Loo, head of research at Lim & Tan Securities said. U.S. markets rose on Friday after data showed the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to the lowest in almost 50 years, easing slowdown concerns. Investors in broader southeast Asia were cautious after Bloomberg reported that Chinese officials have narrowed down the list of topics they were willing to negotiate on in talks slated to begin on Thursday. "There is caution in the market given the disappointing results to talks in the past," Linus added. Thai shares advanced, helped by gains in banking and energy stocks. Lender Kasikornbank advanced 1.7%, while oil explorer PTT Exploration and Production gained 1.3%. Thailand's central bank governor on Friday said the bank is ready to take policy action if needed, adding that it would further relax rules on capital outflows in the face of a strong baht. Meanwhile, Indonesian stocks fell, dragged down by losses in consumer and resources sectors. Consumer goods maker Unilever Indonesia lost 1.8%, while cement maker Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa was down 2.8%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0418 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 3098.74 3078.36 0.66 Bangkok 1609.44 1605.96 0.22 Manila 7715.85 7704.6 0.15 Jakarta 6040.785 6061.252 -0.34 Kuala Lumpur 1558.98 1557.67 0.08 Ho Chi Minh 988.18 987.59 0.06 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3098.74 3068.76 0.98 Bangkok 1609.44 1563.88 2.91 Manila 7715.85 7,466.02 3.35 Jakarta 6040.785 6,194.50 -2.48 Kuala Lumpur 1558.98 1690.58 -7.78 Ho Chi Minh 988.18 892.54 10.72 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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