August 29, 2019 / 10:20 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise as China comment lifts sentiment

    * Possibility of govt stimulus helps Thailand
    * Singapore posts 1-week closing high
    * Philippines rises on utility, industrial stocks

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Aug 29 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets closed
higher on Thursday, with Thailand leading the gains, as China's
comment it is discussing the next round of trade talks with
Washington lifted investor mood.
    China's commerce ministry struck a conciliatory note and
called for the creation of favourable conditions for trade
talks, adding that Beijing was hopeful the United States would
cancel some of the proposed tariffs.
    "There has been a lot of negativity in the market recently,
so this development (China's comments) will definitely be seen
as a positive sign," said Joel Ng, an equity research analyst
with KGI Securities.
    Thai shares gained 1.4%, helped by financial and
energy stocks. Oil and gas explorer PTT Pcl rose 5.5%
after a Bloomberg report that the company was exploring
partnerships with countries in the Middle East to help meet the
country's energy demand, while lender Kasikornbank
gained 1.6%.
    "Today's positivity is also partly from the possibility of
more government stimulus, or at least of a cushion against the
downsides coming our way, based on yesterday's headlines," said
Maria Lapiz, managing director of institutional research at
Maybank Kim Eng. 
    The finance ministry has enough fiscal space available for
additional stimulus measures if needed, the Bangkok Post quoted
the finance minister as saying.     
    "It is also the second day of the Thailand Focus meet, so
I'm speculating some positivity from that too," Maria said.
    Banking and industrial stocks helped Singapore's benchmark
index close at its highest in a week. Lender United
Overseas Bank gained 1.5%, while conglomerate Jardine
Matheson Holdings advanced 1.1%.  
    "The dividend yield levels for some of the big banks are
encouraging investors to come in," Joel said.
    Philippine stocks climbed 0.6%, helped by the utility
and industrial sectors, after rallying over 1% on Wednesday.
    Indonesian stocks edged higher, aided by the
resources and financial sectors. 
    After market hours, the finance minister revised down the
economic growth outlook for 2019 to 5.08% from 5.2%.

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 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3081.83   3056.47         0.83
 Bangkok                1639.14   1616.93         1.37
 Manila                 7892.81   7847.5          0.58
 Jakarta                6289.119  6281.646        0.12
 Kuala Lumpur           1595.18   1589.82         0.34
 Ho Chi Minh            978.59    977.26          0.14
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3081.83   3068.76         0.43
 Bangkok                1639.14   1563.88         4.81
 Manila                 7892.81   7,466.02        5.72
 Jakarta                6289.119  6,194.50        1.53
 Kuala Lumpur           1595.18   1690.58         -5.64
 Ho Chi Minh            978.59    892.54          9.64
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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