December 19, 2019 / 10:13 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on profit-booking ahead of holiday trade

    * Indonesia c.bank keeps policy rates on hold
    * Philippines snaps two sessions of gains
    * Thailand gains for second straight day

    Dec 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian markets fell on
Thursday, with Philippines leading declines, as investors booked
profits ahead of the holiday season, and as lack of additional
details on the interim Sino-U.S. trade deal continued to weigh
on sentiment.
     A spokesman at the Chinese commerce ministry said China and
U.S. trade teams are in close communication, but there is no
specific information on the deal to disclose currently.

    Chinese officials have so far not publicly confirmed much of
Washington's version, especially on the goods purchase
commitments.
    "The markets have overbought following the recent U.S.-China
trade news flow and it's not surprising to see some
profit-taking at the end of the year," Liu Jinshu, director of
research at Tayrona Financial said.
    The Philippine index shed over 1%, hurt by financials
and industrials.
    SM Investments Corp fell 1.9%, while BDO Unibank Inc
 dropped 2%.      
    Indonesian stocks shed 0.6%, with most of the losses
concentrated in financials and telecom shares.
    The country's central bank kept interest rates unchanged at
its final policy meeting for 2019, though it reiterated a
commitment to maintain accommodative policy next year to support
Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
    "We believe that policy easing would be timed during periods
of IDR stability and when economic data such as export growth
are positive," a note from ING said.  
    Bank Central Asia and Telekomunikasi Indonesia
 dropped 2.3% each. 
    Trade-dependent Thailand's index rose 0.6% and was
the top gainer in the region after China unveiled a new list of
tariff exemptions for U.S. imports.
    Last month, the country had lowered its growth forecast for
2019 as the prolonged trade war and a stronger Baht took a toll
on the export-dependent economy.
    Utility firm Gulf Energy Development PCL gained
4.1%, while TMB Bank PCL rose 4.5%.     
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3207.42  3209.54         -0.07
 Bangkok                1573.51  1563.74         0.62
 Manila                 7653.94  7733.67         -1.03
 Jakarta                6249.93  6287.25         -0.59
 Kuala Lumpur           1595.72  1599.11         -0.21
 Ho Chi Minh            952.26   951.13          0.12
                                                 
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3207.42  3068.76         4.52
 Bangkok                1573.51  1563.88         0.62
 Manila                 7653.94  7,466.02        2.52
 Jakarta                6249.93  6,194.50        0.89
 Kuala Lumpur           1595.72  1690.58         -5.61
 Ho Chi Minh            952.26   892.54          6.69
 
 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job and Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru;
editing by Uttaresh.V)
  
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