April 30, 2019 / 4:34 AM / in 24 days

SE Asia Stocks-Most climb on hopes for fresh China stimulus

    * Indonesian shares lead gains in regional markets
    * U.S.-China trade talks also lift risk sentiment
    * Singapore slips as financials drop 

    By Aditya Soni
    April 30 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
firmed on Tuesday, as investors hoped that Beijing would
introduce more policy stimulus to spur growth after
manufacturing data in the world's second-largest economy failed
to meet expectations.
    Factory activity in China expanded for a second straight
month in April but at a much slower pace, an official survey
showed.
    Lacklustre data raised expectations that China would
continue to extend stimulus to help the economy find its
footing. 
    "What we are seeing is that bad news is good news because
... there is a fair amount of expectation that the Chinese
government will come in to rescue the day," said Taye Shim, head
of research, Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
    Top performer in the region, Indonesian shares
climbed 0.4 percent and saw their best session in a week. 
    Gains in Southeast Asia's biggest economy were underpinned
by consumer stocks, with Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT
seeing its best session in a week, while Indofood Sukses Makmur
Tbk PT rose to a nearly five-week high.
    Sentiment was also helped by hopes that U.S.-China could
soon sign a trade deal to end a nearly year-long tariff
skirmish. 
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the New York
Times that negotiations are in "the final lap" as he and Trade
Representative Robert Lighthizer prepared to fly to Beijing for
more talks this week.
    Meanwhile, Thai shares saw their best session in
over a week after data showed that factory activity in March
dropped less than expectations.
    Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL scaled an over two-month
peak and was the biggest boost to the index, while Advanced Info
Service PCL firmed 0.8 percent. 
    Philippine shares posted modest gains, while
Malaysian shares touched their highest level since April
10.
    Singapore's benchmark index shed sharp gains from the
previous session to edge lower, dented by declines in financial
stocks. 
    Shares of Southeast Asia's biggest lender DBS Group Holdings
Ltd marked their worst day in over five weeks. The
lender had surged 3.6 percent on Monday after posting a record
quarterly profit. 
    Vietnam markets were closed for a regional holiday.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0347 GMT
 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3393.95   3407.02         -0.38
 Bangkok         1670.66   1666.68         0.24
 Manila          7908.69   7897.02         0.15
 Jakarta         6456.074  6425.895        0.47
 Kuala Lumpur    1639.47   1637.4          0.13
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore       3393.95   3068.76         10.60
 Bangkok         1670.66   1563.88         6.83
 Manila          7908.69   7466.02         5.93
 Jakarta         6456.074  6194.498        4.22
 Kuala Lumpur    1639.47   1690.58         -3.02
 Ho Chi Minh     979.64    892.54          9.76
 
 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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