SE Asia Stocks-Rise as Middle East tensions fade, Thailand gains most

    * Indonesia's unaudited 2019 budget deficit at 2.20% of GDP
    * Philippines Dec CPI above forecast
    * Thai equities rise most in over one month

    By Sameer Manekar
    Jan 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian equities finished higher
on Tuesday, with Thailand leading gains, as markets drew relief
from the absence of any fresh escalations in the standoff
between the United States and Iran.
    Regional markets recovered from sharp declines on Monday,
gaining broadly in line with their Asian peers. The MSCI's
broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 recouped almost all of losses from the previous
    However, uncertainties still persist on report of Iran
considering 13 "revenge scenarios" in retaliation for U.S.
strike last week, and the United States denying visa to Iran's
foreign minister to attend a United Nations meeting this week.

    Thai equities led the gains in the region, buoyed by
financial and industrial sectors. Retailer CP All Pcl
and Airports of Thailand rising 1.4% and 2.1%,
     Singapore's benchmark index ended 0.9% higher,
boosted by financials and industrial firms.
    Southeast Asia's largest lender DBS Group Holdings
added 0.7%, while Jardine Strategic Holdings gained
    Malaysian stocks finished 0.8% higher with
financials and telecom firms rising the most.
    CIMB Group Holdings and Maxis Bhd added
1.3% and 2.3%, respectively.
    Philippine bourse rose 0.6% on the back of consumer
firms, with SM Investments Corp adding 2.6%.
    Data released on Tuesday showed the country's annual
inflation picking up more than expected in December, but
remaining within the central bank's target for last year.

    Last year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor
Benjamin Diokno said the policymakers will resume easing policy
this year, and "at least 50 basis points" were to be expected in
    Indonesian shares gained 0.4%, with financials and
consumer sectors pushing the index.
    The country posted an unaudited budget deficit of 2.2% of
gross domestic product in 2019, in line with the government's
latest estimate, however, wider than its initial plan to keep
the deficit at 1.8% of GDP.
    Bank Rakyat Indonesia and poultry feed firm
Charoen Pokphand Indonesia gained 0.7% and 6.9%,
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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3247.86   3218.86         0.90
 Bangkok                1585.23   1568.5          1.07
 Manila                 7840.7    7797.87         0.55
 Jakarta                6279.346  6257.403        0.35
 Kuala Lumpur           1611.04   1597.76         0.83
 Ho Chi Minh            958.88    955.79          0.32
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              3247.86   3222.83         0.78
 Bangkok                1585.23   1579.84         0.34
 Manila                 7840.7    7,815.26        0.33
 Jakarta                6279.346  6,299.54        -0.32
 Kuala Lumpur           1611.04   1588.76         1.40
 Ho Chi Minh            958.88    960.99          -0.22
 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi