May 21, 2018 / 4:24 AM / in a month

SE Asia Stocks-Most climb as U.S., China temporarily drop tariff threats

    * Singapore gains about 1 pct
    * Indonesia falls for third session
    * Asian shares ex-Japan climb 

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    May 21 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Monday, with Singapore gaining about 1 percent, after the
United States and China agreed to drop their tariff threats
while they work on a wider trade agreement.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 rose 0.6 percent after U.S. Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday the U.S. trade war with China was
"on hold".
    "Given the possible worst-case scenario was avoided the
market should view the latest trade discussions as favourable
and equity market should be in that happy place, at least for
today," said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at
Oanda.
    Singapore gained as much as 1.1 percent, its biggest
intraday percentage gain in three weeks, with lenders DBS Group
Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp up
as much as 1.8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
    The city-state is set to release its final gross domestic
product for the first quarter on Thursday, with expectations
that the economy will expand on the back of growth in the
manufacturing sector. 
    Thai shares gained for a third session, buoyed by
gains in financials and energy stocks.
    Convenience store operator CP All PCL was up as
much as 1.8 percent, while PTT Exploration and Production
 gained as much as 2.1 percent.
    Thailand's economy grew nearly twice as fast as forecast
from the previous quarter in January-March, driven by robust
exports and tourism as well as improved private consumption and
crops, data showed.
    Meanwhile, Indonesian shares slipped for a third
straight session, down as much as 1.1 percent, to their lowest
in nearly two weeks. 
    Bank Indonesia said it would conduct three foreign exchange
swap operations this week to ensure enough rupiah liquidity in
the market following its benchmark interest rate hike last week.

    "As the U.S. continuously raises interest rates, it's
impacting a lot of the emerging markets, such as Indonesia.
Hence, the central bank has to raise interest rates to stamp out
the capital outflows," said Joel Ng, analyst at KGI Securities.
    The rupiah hit its lowest in more than two-and-a-half
years in early trade.
    Telekomunikasi Indonesia shed 2.3 percent, while
lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia was down as much as 6.5
percent.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0355 GMT
 STOCK MARKETS                                
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3559.88   3529.27         0.87
 Bangkok            1761.81   1754.17         0.44
 Manila             7697.87   7672.28         0.33
 Jakarta            5748.025  5783.31         -0.61
 Kuala Lumpur       1861.58   1854.5          0.38
 Ho Chi Minh        1030.55   1040.54         -0.96
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3559.88   3402.92         4.61
 Bangkok            1761.81   1753.71         0.46
 Manila             7697.87   8558.42         -10.06
 Jakarta            5748.025  6355.654        -9.56
 Kuala Lumpur       1861.58   1796.81         3.60
 Ho Chi Minh        1030.55   984.24          4.71
 
 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; additional reporting
by Binisha H. Ben; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
  
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