August 30, 2019 / 9:57 AM / 20 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise on Sino-U.S. trade talk optimism

    * Philippines gains to near 1-month closing high
    * Malaysia posts three-week closing high
    * Thai July exports rise, current account surplus narrows

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Aug 30 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Friday as signs that the United States and China are planning to
resume trade talks boosted risk appetite.
    Both countries struck a reconciliatory note as news of trade
talks scheduled for September emerged on Thursday, while U.S.
President Donald Trump said he had calls with Chinese officials
planned later that day.
    China's foreign ministry though put the onus on the United
States to create favourable conditions for the talks, adding
that it hoped the latter would cancel the tariffs slated to
kick-off in two days.
    "Markets anticipate the latest tariffs escalation to take a
pause despite little concrete progress being expected" before
the negotiations begin, Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients.
    Philippine stocks advanced to their highest close in
nearly a month, helped by heavyweights such as SM Prime Holdings
 and BDO Unibank. The index rose 1.1% over the
week.
    Chinese Premier Xi Jinping said on Thursday his country and
the Philippines could work towards the joint development of oil
and gas resources in the South China Sea if they can properly
handle their dispute over sovereignty.
    The comment came during a visit to Beijing by Philippine
President Rodrigo Duterte, amid a recent rise in tension on
several fronts, with Chinese vessels challenging energy assets
and the sea boundaries of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
    Banking stocks helped Malaysia's benchmark index
rise to its highest close in nearly three weeks. The index
gained 0.2% for the week, but fell 1.4% during the month.
    Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd
 gained 1.35% and 1.8%, respectively. 
    Malaysia's top two lenders on Thursday said they expected a
quarter point interest rate cut by the central bank this year.
 
    Energy and banking stocks helped Thailand's benchmark index
 close at its highest in over three weeks. However, the
index lost 3.4% this month.
    Exports rose 3.8% in July from a year earlier after falling
2.1% in June, but the current account surplus narrowed to $1.77
billion after June's surplus of $3.92 billion.
    Indonesian shares advanced 1.2% over the week, but 
fell 1% during the month. 
    An index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks was
up 1.4% on Friday. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 STOCK MARKETS                                   
 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3106.52  3081.83         0.80
 Bangkok                1654.92  1639.14         0.96
 Manila                 7979.66  7892.81         1.10
 Jakarta                6328.47  6289.119        0.63
 Kuala Lumpur           1612.14  1595.18         1.06
 Ho Chi Minh            984.06   978.59          0.56
                                                 
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3106.52  3068.76         1.23
 Bangkok                1654.92  1563.88         5.82
 Manila                 7979.66  7,466.02        6.88
 Jakarta                6328.47  6,194.50        2.16
 Kuala Lumpur           1612.14  1690.58         -4.64
 Ho Chi Minh            984.06   892.54          10.25
 
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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