October 22, 2019 / 4:43 AM / 24 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain as trade optimism whets appetite; Singapore leads

    * U.S. official said tariffs on Chinese goods could be
withdrawn
    * Singapore's Keppel Corp surges 17.1% on Temasek offer
    * Indonesia set to snap seven consecutive sessions of gains 

    By Sameer Manekar
    Oct 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded
in positive territory on Tuesday, with Singapore leading gains,
as signs of progress in the Sino-U.S. trade negotiations whetted
appetite and encouraged investors to resume their bets.
    U.S. President Donald Trump sounded upbeat on a China deal
on Monday, while White House adviser Larry Kudlow said tariffs
on Chinese goods scheduled for December could be withdrawn if
talks go well.
    Trump's comments came as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said
last week that Beijing would work with Washington to resolve the
bruising 15-month trade dispute.
    However, investors believe that market optimism could soon
be tempered. 
    "To begin with, we had been here before. Trade negotiations
were reportedly going well before the talks abruptly broke off
in May," Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients.
    Shares in Singapore, which is among the most vulnerable to
the trade dispute with China being the region's biggest trading
partner, gained the most with the benchmark index hitting
its highest in more than a month.
    Industrial conglomerate Keppel Corp surged 17.1%,
marking its best session in more than 21 years, following
state-owned investor Temasek's bid to buy control of Keppel in a
S$4.1 billion ($3.01 billion) deal.
    The deal has raised expectations of consolidation in the
domestic rig buiding sector, with Keppel's peer Sembcorp Marine
 adding as much as 5.2%. Temasek is the majority
shareholder in Sembcorp.
    The Thai index recovered from previous session's
decline to mark its best session in nearly two weeks.
    Electricity generator Gulf Energy Development and
oil and gas refiner PTT PCL were among top gainers,
adding 1.7% and 1.1%, respectively.
    Industrial and real-estate firms were among the top
performers in the Philippines index, with JG Summit
Holdings and Ayala Corp gaining 1.8% and 1.2%,
respectively.
    Indonesian stocks were set to snap seven straight
sessions of gains as cautious investors await the central bank
policy meeting due later this week. Bank Indonesia is expected
to cut its benchmark rate by 25bps, according to a Reuters poll.

    Auto manufacturer Astra International and cement
manufacturer Semen Indonesia were among the top
losers, slipping 1.5% and 1.2%, respectively. 
    
For Asian Companies click;  
    
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0431 GMT
    
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3164.24   3139.15          0.80
 Bangkok                1628.12   1620.78          0.45
 Manila                 7911.17   7891.13          0.25
 Jakarta                6186.785  6198.987        -0.20
 Kuala Lumpur           1568.9    1570.93         -0.13
 Ho Chi Minh            987.06    983.56           0.36
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3164.24   3068.76         3.11
 Bangkok                1628.12   1563.88         4.11
 Manila                 7911.17   7,466.02        5.96
 Jakarta                6186.785  6,194.50        -0.12
 Kuala Lumpur           1568.9    1690.58         -7.20
 Ho Chi Minh            987.06    892.54          10.59
 
    ($1 = 1.3614 Singapore dollars)

 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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