July 11, 2019 / 3:54 AM / in 5 days

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise as Powell reinforces rate cut hopes, Singapore leads

    * Singapore up as much as 1%
    * Thailand hits over 9-month high

    By Soumyajit Saha
    July 11 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Thursday, with Singapore leading gains, as investors cheered
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments
bolstering prospects of an interest rate cut.
    Powell promised to closely monitor economic data to see its
implications on growth and inflation, adding that he "would act
as appropriate to sustain the expansion".
    The chairman also warned that the simmering Sino-U.S. trade
war posed a threat to economic growth, in what seemed to be a
confirmation of wide expectations of a rate cut later this
month.
    "Equally telling was the fact that he downplayed a strong
payrolls report, saying that there is no sign of overheating in
the job market at home" Mizuho Bank said in a note to clients.
    Singapore's index led the gains in the region, buoyed
by rise in financials. Shares of lenders DBS Group Holdings Ltd
 and United Overseas Bank Ltd rose as much as
1.9% and 1.5%, respectively.
    The Thai benchmark hit a more than nine-month high,
as appointment of a cabinet under Prime Minister Prayuth
Chan-Ocha soothed investor sentiment.
    "For now, the end of the political stalemate is positive
news for the local markets," ING group said in a note to
clients.
    The Philippine index was buoyed by gains in real
estate stocks. SM Prime Holdings Inc and Ayala Land
Inc were up as much as 1.2% and 2%, respectively.
    The Malaysian index was flat, as gains in telecom
stocks offset losses in consumer sector counters.
    Palm oil producers such as Sime Darby Plantation Bhd
 and IOI Corporation Bhd dragged the index,
affected by a fall in palm oil prices in the first half of the
year due to slow demand.
    The Indonesian benchmark advanced slightly, helped
by gains in financials. 
        
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0329 GMT
    
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3362.66   3340.42         0.67
 Bangkok                1743.17   1739.43         0.22
 Manila                 8105.98   8078.21         0.34
 Jakarta                6415.645  6410.683        0.08
 Kuala Lumpur           1677.8    1678.97         -0.07
 Ho Chi Minh            975.65    973.65          0.21
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3362.66   3068.76         9.58
 Bangkok                1743.17   1563.88         11.46
 Manila                 8105.98   7,466.02        8.57
 Jakarta                6415.645  6,194.50        3.57
 Kuala Lumpur           1677.8    1690.58         -0.76
 Ho Chi Minh            975.65    892.54          9.31
 
 (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
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