January 10, 2019 / 4:56 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Gain as Sino-U.S. trade optimism bolsters sentiment

    * Delegations from China and the United States end 3 days of
    * Singapore shares extend gains for fifth session
    * Philippine November trade deficit narrows

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Jan 10 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on
Thursday, with Singapore shares leading the gains, while
investors kept a cautious stance awaiting concrete evidence that
progress is being made in the U.S.-China trade negotiations.
    U.S. officials used three days of talks to present Beijing
with a long list of demands that would rewrite the terms of
trade between the world's two largest economies, and discussed
"ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity and balance in trade
    Singapore shares extended gains for a fifth straight day,
buoyed by DBS Group Holdings Ltd and conglomerate
Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd that rose up to 0.9
percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.    
    The Malaysian index recovered from losses in the
previous session to climb 0.8 percent. 
    "While Asia complex (foreign exchange and assets) looked set
to be positive, it may yet be patient instead of aggressively
pursuing gains, given that trade progress so far are low-hanging
fruits," Vishnu Varathan, senior economist, Mizuho Bank said in
a note. 
    Minutes from the Federal Reserve policy meeting in December
also boosted sentiment. A range of Federal Reserve policymakers
said they could be patient about future interest rate increases
and a few did not support the central bank's rate increase that
month, minutes from their meeting showed. 
    However, most traders still expect sentiment to remain
positive in the medium term on expectations the Fed will not
raise rates in 2019 as well as a potential trade deal in coming
months between the world's two largest economies.
    In the regional markets, Indonesian stocks extended
gains into a second session, supported by consumer and materials
    Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk rose up to 6.7 percent
to its highest in more than six weeks, while PT Unilever
Indonesia Tbk climbed 2.1 percent.
    Philippine's benchmark index gained after data from
the archipelago showed its trade deficit narrowed in November as
imports rose at their slowest pace in eight months.
    Bank of the Philippine Islands climbed as much as
2.7 percent and real estate company SM Prime Holdings Inc
 gained up to 0.7 percent. 
    Meanwhile, Vietnam stocks traded marginally higher. 

    For Asian Companies click;  

 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3178.06   3158.07         0.63
 Bangkok                1596.66   1590.5          0.39
 Manila                 7950.54   7919.67         0.39
 Jakarta                6293.466  6272.238        0.34
 Kuala Lumpur           1676.59   1667.83         0.53
 Ho Chi Minh            898.89    896.99          0.21
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3178.06   3068.76         3.56
 Bangkok                1596.66   1563.88         2.10
 Manila                 7950.54   7,466.02        6.49
 Jakarta                6293.466  6,194.50        1.60
 Kuala Lumpur           1676.59   1690.58         -0.83
 Ho Chi Minh            898.89    892.54          0.71
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty and Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru,
Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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