August 22, 2018 / 10:09 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines, Thailand end higher; Sino-U.S. talks in focus

    * Philippines posts over 1-week closing high
    * Thai shares buoyed by energy stocks

    By Sumeet Gaikwad
    Aug 22 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks closed higher on
Wednesday after marking the best session in three weeks earlier
in trade, while the Thai index ended firmer, as market
focus was largely attuned to tariff talks between the United
States and China.
    Asian shares ex-Japan were trading 0.2
percent higher after the benchmark S&P 500 touched a
record high in the previous session, buoyed by strong earnings
in the consumer sector.
    The two-day meeting is the first formal U.S.-China trade
talks since U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese
economic adviser Liu He in Beijing in June. The trade talks were
expected to open on Wednesday under the cloud of a prediction by
U.S. President Donald Trump that there would be no real
progress.
    Philippine shares were boosted by real estate stocks with
Ayala Land ending 2.1 percent higher. Property
developer SM Prime Holdings, one of the biggest
gainers on the bourse, partially confirmed a media article about
its three-year expansion plans.
    "It's the sentiment due to positive overnight indicators
such as (record gains on) the Wall Street and that emerging
markets, in general, looked positive," said Fio Dejesus, equity
research analyst, RCBC Securities.    
    Thai shares recovered from previous session's losses
to end higher. Gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production
 ended 2.6 percent firmer, while Thai Oil
added nearly 3 percent to the index.
    Thailand's customs-cleared annual exports in July grew
slightly from the previous month, data from the commerce
ministry showed on Wednesday. However, the exports' growth rate
fell short of expectations.
    The country recorded a trade deficit of $0.52 billion in
July, compared with June's $1.58 billion surplus, official data
showed. 
    Vietnam shares ended steady on the back of gains in
utility and real estate stocks.
    Meanwhile, financial markets in Singapore, Malaysia
 and Indonesia were closed for holidays.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
        
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Bangkok            1698.3    1694.63         0.22
 Manila             7632.26   7500.53         1.76
 Ho Chi Minh        982.15    979.21          0.30
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Bangkok            1698.3    1753.71         -3.16
 Manila             7632.26   8558.42         -10.82
 Ho Chi Minh        982.15    984.24          -0.21
 
 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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