July 12, 2019 / 4:10 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Trade in tight range, China data awaited

    * Philippines leads gainers
    * Malaysia down in thin volumes

    By Soumyajit Saha
    July 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets traded in
a tight range on Friday as investors awaited a slew of key
important economic data from China and elsewhere in the region,
while Philippines rose the most.
    Market participants were awaiting further cues from the
economic health of China, Southeast Asia's biggest trading
partner, especially in the face of the Sino-U.S. trade war.
    China's June trade balance data is due later today, while
its June industrial output and second-quarter gross domestic
product (GDP) data is slated to be out on July 15.
    Adding to the uncertainty, U.S. President Donald Trump on
Thursday said China was not acting on its promises of buying
agricultural products from American farmers.
    "With no documentation, there is limited clarity on what
were actually promised between the two leaders (Trump and
Chinese premier Xi Jinping), which could complicate any deals,"
Mizuho bank said in a note.
    Philippine benchmark index rose slightly and was on
track to gain about 0.8% for the week, boosted by banking and
telecommunications stocks.
    Lender BDO Unibank Inc rose about 1%, while telecom
service provider PLDT Inc advanced about 1.7%.
    Singapore shares also advanced, helped by gains in
the financial and consumer goods sectors.
    Singapore's second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP)
growth was well below expectations and was its slowest
year-on-year growth since the second quarter of 2009.
    The poor show may raise prospects of dovish action by the
city-state's central bank, which will likely drive capital flows
to equities.
    "Given below-potential growth this year ... we now expect
the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to ease policy at
their October review," ANZ Research said in a note to clients.
    Malaysian stocks were down in thin trade, ahead of
its May industrial output data due later in the day.
    Lenders CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Hong Leong
Bank Bhd were down about 2.6% and 1%, respectively.
    Indonesian shares traded slightly lower, though the
benchmark was on track to gain for the seventh consecutive week.
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 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3356.96  3350.45         0.19
 Bangkok                1740.93  1740.45         0.03
 Manila                 8178.67  8154.49         0.30
 Jakarta                6400.37  6417.066        -0.26
 Kuala Lumpur           1673.81  1679.26         -0.32
 Ho Chi Minh            979.51   978.63          0.09
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3356.96  3068.76         9.39
 Bangkok                1740.93  1563.88         11.32
 Manila                 8178.67  7,466.02        9.55
 Jakarta                6400.37  6,194.50        3.32
 Kuala Lumpur           1673.81  1690.58         -0.99
 Ho Chi Minh            979.51   892.54          9.74
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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