May 22, 2019 / 10:15 AM / in a year

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines rises on Huawei reprieve; Indonesia down

    * Philippines hits 2-week closing high
    * Singapore inflation data due on Thursday

    By Niyati Shetty
    May 22 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks closed higher on
Wednesday after the United States temporarily eased restrictions
on China's Huawei Technologies, while Indonesia slipped as
protests around recently-announced presidential election results
gripped the capital. 
    The Manila index climbed 1.2%, extending gains for a
fourth straight session and hitting a 2-week closing high. 
    Financials and industrial sectors boosted the Philippine
index, with Ayala Corp gaining 6.5%, and JG Summit
Holdings Inc rising 4.3%. 
    Washington on Monday granted Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
         a licence to purchase U.S. goods until August 19, a
move intended to give telecom operators that rely on the Chinese
firm time to make other arrangements.
    Friction between the world's largest economies escalated
last week after the U.S. Commerce Department blacklisted Huawei,
prompting several U.S. firms to suspend business with the
Chinese telecom giant. 
    Meanwhile, news agency Xinhua reported here
 on Tuesday that the Philippine police found no evidence that
Huawei was spying for the Chinese government as they conducted
an investigation into reports that the firm was involved in
    On the other hand, the Indonesia index declined 0.2%
after protests over the outcome of the presidential election
erupted in the capital on Wednesday. 
    The demonstrations come a day after the election commission
confirmed that incumbent President Joko Widodo had beaten his
challenger, ex-general Prabowo Subianto, in the April 17 poll. 
    Investors are wary as the political unrest could cause
significant problems for Widodo to implement reforms in the
    Thai equities advanced 1% as the trade-dependent
country reported customs-cleared exports of 2.57% in April from
a year earlier, and in line with a Reuters poll forecast.

    The country's trade deficit for April came in at $1.46
billion, compared with a forecast of a $490 million deficit, and
March's $2 billion surplus. 
    Data released on Tuesday showed the Thai economy grew at its
slowest pace in over four years.
    With the country facing growing economic concerns, DBS Bank,
in a note to clients, said, "Pressure will build on the Bank of
Thailand to reverse the token rate hike undertaken in
    Singapore stocks ended flat ahead of the island's
inflation data due on Thursday. 
    A Reuters poll expects the country's core inflation in April
to rise 1.3% from a year earlier, down slightly from the 1.4%
rise in the prior month.
    The Malaysian markets were closed for a holiday.
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 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3183.14   3183.26         0.00
 Bangkok                1626.91   1610.49         1.02
 Manila                 7815.07   7721.56         1.21
 Jakarta                5939.636  5951.372        -0.20
 Ho Chi Minh            983.78    986.29          -0.25
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3183.14   3068.76         3.73
 Bangkok                1626.91   1563.88         4.03
 Manila                 7815.07   7,466.02        4.68
 Jakarta                5939.636  6,194.50        -4.11
 Ho Chi Minh            983.78    892.54          10.22
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; editing by
Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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