August 14, 2019 / 10:33 AM / 8 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most end firmer on Trump's trade concession; Indonesia leads

    * U.S. President delays some tariffs on Chinese imports 
    * Financial and consumer stocks lift Philippine index
    * Singapore hurt by losses in consumer sector

    By Soumyajit Saha
    Aug 14 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
higher on Wednesday, in line with global peers, after Washington
delayed some tariffs on Chinese imports in much-needed relief
for financial markets gripped in economic turmoil.
    The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to selectively
delay the tariffs that were set to go into effect on Sept. 1,
doused friction between the two countries that has roiled global
markets. Trump administration delayed duties on cellphones,
laptops and other consumer goods in the hopes of blunting their
impact on U.S. holiday sales. 
    "The question now is how far will this relief rebound go? A
partial tariff delay is not going to solve the core issues
between the U.S. and China," Margaret Yang, a market analyst at
CMC Markets said in a note to clients. 
    "Markets will perhaps soon come down to earth and face the
reality of a world of elevated trade tariffs, slower growth and
policy inconsistency," the note added.
    Indonesian shares rebounded from previous session's
losses to lead gains in the region, underpinned by banking
stocks. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) and Bank
Mandiri (Persero) closed up 1.2% and 1.4%,
respectively.
    The Philippine index ended at its highest in a week,
helped by financial and consumer shares. 
    Branded food and beverage company Universal Robina Corp
 closed 4% firmer, while shares in real estate company
Ayala Land ended up 3.5%. 
    Meanwhile, Singapore stocks flitted between positive
and negative territory before ending the session flat, as gains
in the financial sector offset losses in the consumer sector.   
    "Investors are still very cautious and sentiment has been
weakened by recent downgrades to economic forecast, and that has
impacted upward momentum," Liu Jinshu, director of research at
Singapore-based Tayrona Financial Pte Ltd said.
    The city-state had trimmed its full-year expected growth
range on Tuesday to zero to 1% from a previous forecast of
1.5%-2.5%, citing worsening global conditions.
    Agribusiness company Wilmar international ended
down 4.7% after it reported a 52% drop in its quarterly profit
after market hours on Tuesday, while lender DBS Group Holding
 closed 0.7% firmer. 
    Thai shares, which were the biggest gainers for most
of the session, ended marginally lower after Kasikornbank PCL
 slumped to its lowest level in over three years.
    The Thai lender said it will cut its retail lending rates by
25 basis points, becoming the first bank to follow last week's
surprise easing by the central bank.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3147.6    3146.73         0.03
 Bangkok                1619.45   1620.23         -0.05
 Manila                 7858.65   7788.45         0.90
 Jakarta                6267.335  6210.962        0.91
 Kuala Lumpur           1600.31   1592.88         0.47
 Ho Chi Minh            968.91    966.83          0.22
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3147.6    3068.76         2.57
 Bangkok                1619.45   1563.88         3.55
 Manila                 7858.65   7,466.02        5.26
 Jakarta                6267.335  6,194.50        1.18
 Kuala Lumpur           1600.31   1690.58         -5.34
 Ho Chi Minh            968.91    892.54          8.56
 

 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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