April 9, 2019 / 10:16 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most end firmer on China stimulus hopes

    * China's move to relax residency curbs lifts broader
sentiment
    * Cautious investors seek clarity on Sino-U.S. trade talks
    * Vietnam snaps three session of gains to end lower

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    April 9 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks closed
higher on Tuesday, in line with mainland markets, after Beijing
unleashed fresh measures to boost economic growth, while a surge
in oil prices drove Thai shares to a near six-week closing high.
    China will relax residency curbs in many of its smaller
cities this year and increase infrastructure spending, the state
planner said, in a fresh push to boost the urban population and
revive slowing economic growth.
    Leading the gains, Indonesian stocks recouped losses
from the previous session to end 0.9 percent higher, ahead of
the presidential elections on April 17.
    Most opinion polls give the incumbent, President Joko
Widodo, a double-digit lead over his rival, former military
general Prabowo Subianto.
     "President Jokowi looks set for a second term and another
majority in the new parliament, which should be positive for
markets and the IDR (Indonesian rupiah)," a note from Maybank
said. "His re-election signals policy continuity and will calm
fears of any policy disruption," the note said.
    Consumer stocks boosted the index, with shares of Astra
International Tbk Pt and Unilever Indonesia Tbk Pt
 closing up 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
    Oil prices were near five-month highs on Tuesday as markets
continued to tighten amid OPEC-led supply cuts, U.S. sanctions
against Iran and Venezuela, and escalating violence in Libya.

    Bolstered by gains in energy shares, Thai stocks
closed at a near six-week high. PTT Exploration and Production
Pcl and PTT Pcl gained 3.1 percent and 0.5
percent, respectively.
    Separately, investors exercised caution ahead of the release
of the minutes to U.S. Federal Reserve's previous policy meeting
and as they also awaited further clarity on the Sino-U.S. trade
talks. 
    A top White House official said on Monday that U.S.
officials are "not satisfied yet" about all the issues standing
in the way of a deal to end the U.S.-China trade war but made
progress in talks with China last week.
    Meanwhile, Vietnam stocks snapped three consecutive
sessions of gains to slump nearly 1 percent. Real estate and
consumer stocks dragged the index lower, with Vingroup JSC
 closing 2.2 percent lower and Vietnam Dairy Products
JSC down 1.3 percent.   
    Philippine markets were closed for a holiday.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3325.6    3315.42         0.31
 Bangkok                1657.74   1646.18         0.70
 Jakarta                6484.348  6425.734        0.91
 Kuala Lumpur           1641.94   1644.35         -0.15
 Ho Chi Minh            988.48    997.56          -0.91
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3325.6    3068.76         8.37
 Bangkok                1657.74   1563.88         6.00
 Jakarta                6484.348  6,194.50        4.68
 Kuala Lumpur           1641.94   1690.58         -2.88
 Ho Chi Minh            988.48    892.54          10.75
                                                  
 
 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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