May 10, 2019 / 10:49 AM / 2 months ago

REFILE-SE Asia Stocks-Most end firmer as investors eye last-ditch trade talks

 (Adds dropped word in headline)
    * Trump tariffs come into force, China yet to retaliate
    * Singapore posts biggest weekly loss since Oct 2018
    * Malaysia and Philippines end lower

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 10 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian markets closed
higher on Friday, but logged in weekly declines, amid hopes for
a possible breakthrough in the trade dispute between Washington
and Beijing, even though another round of U.S. tariffs on
Chinese goods kicked in.
    Tension between Washington and Beijing has risen after a
major setback in negotiations last week when China revised a
draft deal and weakened commitments to meet U.S. demands for
trade reform. U.S. President Donald Trump responded by ordering
a tariff hike, and China has said it would retaliate.

    However, negotiators in Washington agreed to stay at the
table for a second day, keeping alive hopes of an eventual
agreement.
    "If they don't reach a deal by tonight or over the weekend,
there will probably be some selling pressure next week … If you
look at the futures for the U.S. markets, they are a bit flat,
so I think there might even be some hope that an agreement could
be reached," said Joel Ng, analyst, KGI Securities.
    The 10-month-old trade war has already cost companies in
both countries billions of dollars.
    Singapore's Straits Times Index, whose stocks are
most exposed to global trade, posted its worst weekly loss since
Oct 12, 2018, even though it ended the session marginally
higher.
    Palm oil company Golden Agri-Resources advanced
1.8%, while conglomerate Jardine Cycle & Carriage
closed 0.5% higher.
    Top boost in the region, Vietnamese stocks closed
higher, buoyed by gains in financials and energy shares. 
    Analysts believe Vietnam could benefit if the U.S.-China
trade war continues to drag as global companies are seen
shifting their production base and manufacturing facilities into
the country from China, to cut costs and minimize tariffs.

    The index posted its biggest weekly loss since Dec 21, 2018.
    Indonesia's benchmark reversed earlier losses to
close 0.2% higher, helped by utilities and telecom stocks.
    Indonesia's current account deficit narrowed in
January-March to the smallest in a year, helping the country to
post a balance of payments surplus, but some economists say this
would not trigger an interest rate cut by the central bank.
    
    Malaysian stocks ended 0.5% lower, dented by telecom
giant Axiata Group's nearly 2% drop. The index fell
1.65% this week, its worst since Oct. 26, 2018.
    Polls showed that hopes of an economic revival in Malaysia
under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has steadily eroded since
United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) was removed from
power for the first time in 60 years.
    Philippine stocks ended 0.2% down, dragged lower by
energy stocks. The benchmark tumbled nearly 3% since Monday,
marking its biggest weekly loss since March 1.
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
  Change on the day                                
  Market             Current    Previous  Pct Move
                                close     
  Singapore          3273.4     3269.7     0.12
  Bangkok            1651.36    1646.8     0.11
  Manila             7742.2     7755.62   -0.17
  Jakarta            6209.118   6198.804   0.17
  Kuala Lumpur       1610.27    1618.53   -0.51
 Ho Chi Minh         952.55     947.01     0.58
                                          
  Change on year                          
  Market             Current    End 2018  Pct Move
  Singapore          3273.4     3068.76   6.67
  Bangkok            1651.36    1563.88   5.42
  Manila             7742.2     7466.02   3.70
  Jakarta            6209.118   6194.498  0.24
  Kuala Lumpur       1610.27    1690.58   -4.75
  Ho Chi Minh        952.55     892.54    6.72
 

 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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