May 18, 2020 / 4:22 AM / 17 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most edge higher; Singapore jumps on strong export data

    * Pharma shipments lift Singapore April exports
    * Thailand posts 1.8% drop in Q1 GDP vs estimate of 4%
    * Philippine shares fall to their lowest since April 28

    By Pranav A K
    May 18 (Reuters) - Singapore shares gained on Monday after
the city-state reported a rise in annual exports, while most
Southeast Asian stock markets tracked global equities to inch
higher on renewed optimism as more countries eased lockdown
restrictions and reopened their economies. 
    Summer weather is prompting much of the world to emerge from
coronavirus lockdowns as centers of the outbreak from New York
to Italy and Spain gradually lift restrictions that have kept
millions indoors for months.
    Asian shares outside Japan edged up 0.2%,
while  E-Mini futures for the U.S. S&P 500 added 1.1%,
even as China said it opposed the latest U.S. rules against
Huawei         .
    "Between fears of sustained economic damage from the global
health crisis and hopes for recovery as economies gradually
reopen, we are seeing the latter reigning into the start of the
fresh week for US futures," said IG market strategist Jingyi
    Singapore's benchmark index rose 0.8%, as annual
exports rose for the third straight month in April, bolstered by
a sharp rise in pharmaceutical shipments, according to official
    Serving as the bellwether for Asia's trade picture, non-oil
domestic exports rose 9.7% in April, against a 5% decline
forecast in a Reuters poll.
    Real estate stocks Capital and Mall Trust and
Mapletree Commercial Trust were the top gainers on the
benchmark, climbing 4% and 3.3%, respectively.
    Thailand's index advanced, after a tepid session on
Friday where the index closed flat, buoyed by a jump in oil
    Thailand's economy contracted at its sharpest pace in eight
years in the first quarter but by less than expected. Southeast
Asia's second-largest economy shrank 1.8% in the first quarter
from a year earlier, while a Reuters poll expected a 4.0%
    Energy stocks boosted the index, with Lanna Resources
 jumping as much as 14.4%, while Prima Marine
added 3.8%.
    Bucking the regional trend, Philippine shares dropped
1.2% to their lowest in nearly three weeks, with industrials and
telecommunications services weighing the most.
    Earlier in the session, shares of the Philippines' biggest
broadcaster ABS-CBN Corp slumped as much as 14.3% after
the telecoms regulator ordered it to shut down operations.

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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2543.98   2523.55         0.81
 Bangkok                1287.45   1280.76         0.52
 Manila                 5480.72   5541.95         -1.10
 Jakarta                4507.862  4507.607        0.01
 Kuala Lumpur           1410.69   1403.44         0.52
 Ho Chi Minh            829.64    827.03          0.32
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2543.98   3222.83         -21.06
 Bangkok                1287.45   1579.84         -18.51
 Manila                 5480.72   7,815.26        -29.87
 Jakarta                4507.862  6,299.54        -28.44
 Kuala Lumpur           1410.69   1588.76         -11.21
 Ho Chi Minh            829.64    960.99          -13.67

 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan
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