August 30, 2018 / 4:08 AM / 22 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets rise on trade optimism

    * Thailand up for 4th straight session
    * Singapore hits near one-week low 

    By Sumeet Gaikwad
    Aug 30 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets inched
higher on Thursday, in line with broader Asia on expectations
negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) will lead to a further easing of global trade tensions.
    Leaders of the United States and Canada expressed optimism
on Wednesday that they could reach new NAFTA deal by a Friday
deadline as negotiators prepared to talk through the night.

    The White House said it wanted to settle NAFTA before
negotiating with China. The deadline for public comment on U.S.
President Donald Trump's tariffs on another $200 billion of
Chinese goods is on Sept. 5, with the new measures possibly
taking effect next month.
    "While the U.S. demonstrates willingness to compromise on
NAFTA, according to Canada's foreign minister, market doubts
that whether the U.S. will keep the same negotiating stance when
it comes to China," Mizuho Bank said in a note.
    Philippine shares rose to a three-week high, driven
by industrials and financials. Blue chips SM Investments Corp
 and BDO Unibank climbed about 0.6 percent and 1
percent, respectively.
    Malaysian shares were largely flat as gains in
consumer staples and energy offset losses in telecom stocks. 
    Dialog Group, which provides technical services to
the oil & gas sector, rose 1.5 percent, while Telekom Malaysia
 slid over 6 percent after the company reported a sharp
drop in quarterly net profit on Wednesday.
    Indonesian shares rose marginally, helped by
financial and material stocks. Bank Central Asia led
the gains, adding 1.1 percent, while packaging materials maker
Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper was a close second with a 1
percent rise. 
    Thai shares advanced for a fourth consecutive
session with financial and industrial stocks leading the gains.
Airports of Thailand was among the top contributors,
adding 0.8 percent, while Bank of Ayudhya rose over 1
percent.
    Thailand will release July trade data on Friday.
    Meanwhile, Singapore shares fell 0.7 percent, dragged
by financials and industrials. United Overseas Bank
was the biggest drag with a drop of 1.6 percent, while Jardine
Matheson Holdings slid 1.2 percent.
            
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0405GMT
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3220.81   3243.92         -0.71
 Bangkok            1727.18   1722.26         0.29
 Manila             7855.42   7830.96         0.31
 Jakarta            6075.184  6065.149        0.17
 Kuala Lumpur       1819.16   1820.64         -0.08
 Ho Chi Minh        985.88    988.17          -0.23
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3220.81   3402.92         -5.35
 Bangkok            1727.18   1753.71         -1.51
 Manila             7855.42   8558.42         -8.21
 Jakarta            6075.184  6355.654        -4.41
 Kuala Lumpur       1819.16   1796.81         1.24
 Ho Chi Minh        985.88    984.24          0.17
 

 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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