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Shruti Sonal

SE Asia Stocks-End firmer as China halves tariffs on some U.S. goods

Feb 06 2020

* Further tariff cuts depend on bilateral developments, China says * The Philippine index surges as c.bank commits to 50 bps cuts * Singapore index hits highest close since Jan. 27 By Shruti Sonal Feb 6 Southeast Asian stocks closed firmer on Thursday after China decided to slash tariffs on some U.S. imports, offering relief to markets that were gripped by slowdown worries amid the coronavirus outbreak. Broader Asian markets clocked in strong gains on news that China - the region's largest trading partner - plans to halve additional tariffs levied against 1,717 U.S. goods last year, even as it reiterated its aim to eventually scrap all tariffs that had been levied during the trade war. Markets were already beginning to emerge from safe-haven assets and bet on the virus being a short-term shock, even while the human toll continues to grow. Another 73 people on the Chinese mainland died from the virus, the highest daily increase so far, bringing the total death toll to 563, the country's health authority said on Thursday. Trade-sensitive Singapore shares climbed nearly 1% to hit their highest close since Jan. 27, with index heavyweights Jardine Strategic Holdings and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd ending up 1.3% and 1.5%, respectively. Leading gains in the region, the Philippine index ended 2.1% higher after the central bank governor said it was prepared to loosen policy further to protect growth. After the closing bell, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas trimmed its key interest rate to shield the economy from the impact of the coronavirus. Property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc, the top percentage gainer in the Philippine index, closed nearly 6% firmer. Elsewhere, Malaysian equities climbed more than 1% as a rally in palm oil prices boosted shares of the edible oil producers, which have a heavy weightage on the benchmark. Sime Darby Plantation, the world's largest oil palm planter by land size, ended up nearly 1%. Indonesian shares, which rose up to 0.6% earlier in the day, pared gains after the country's tourism minister flagged a possible $4 billion hit in tourism-related earnings if travel from China is disrupted for the whole year due to the virus outbreak. Meanwhile, Thai equities gained marginally to end a tick higher after the central bank signalled more room to help economy if necessary, a day after cutting the benchmark policy rate to a record low. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3231.55 3200.13 0.98 Bangkok 1535.79 1534.14 0.11 Manila 7506.51 7352.85 2.09 Jakarta 5987.145 5978.51 0.14 Kuala Lumpur 1552.77 1536.79 1.04 Ho Chi Minh 938.54 925.91 1.36 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3231.55 3222.83 0.27 Bangkok 1535.79 1579.84 -2.79 Manila 7506.51 7,815.26 -3.95 Jakarta 5987.145 6,299.54 -4.96 Kuala Lumpur 1552.77 1588.76 -2.27 Ho Chi Minh 938.54 960.99 -2.34 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets rise; Philippine up ahead of likely rate cut

Feb 05 2020

* Philippine cenbank rate decision due around 0800 GMT * Jump in palm oil prices lifts Malaysian benchmark * Singapore stocks hit highest since Jan. 27 By Shruti Sonal Feb 6 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday as investors picked up beaten-down stocks, with the Philippine index gaining ahead of a widely-expected interest rate cut. While most indexes clocked small gains in the last two sessions, current levels stand nowhere close to what they were at before Jan. 20 when the coronavirus outbreak first drew the attention of global markets. Since then, major regional markets such as Indonesia, Singapore and Philippines have shed 2%-5%. "Bargain-hunting and hopes of an accommodative stance to be adopted by more central banks in the region as a cautionary response to the virus outbreak has lifted sentiment," Joel Ng, analyst at KGI Securities said. Traders cited unconfirmed reports of a possible vaccine or drug breakthrough for the coronavirus as a trigger for a broader rally on Wednesday, although they also said such a catalyst was also likely to be an excuse for short-covering. The World Health Organization too played down such reports of drug breakthroughs. "While this may have supported risk-taking, we don't see much substance in these reports just yet and we are sceptical the risk rally will continue", analysts at ING said in a note. Malaysian equities led gains with a near 1% jump as a rally in palm oil prices boosted the benchmark. Sime Darby Plantation, the world's largest oil palm planter by land size, rose 1.4%. The Philippine benchmark climbed 0.9% ahead of its central bank's meeting. Nine of 11 economists polled by Reuters said it will cut the rate on its overnight reverse repurchase facility by 25 basis points to 3.75%. Aiding sentiment was economic data from United States which showed the country's trade deficit falling for the first time in six years in 2019 along with a pick-up in services sector activity last month. Trade-sensitive Singapore shares rose as much as 0.8% to hit their highest since Jan. 27, buoyed by financials and industrials. Index heavyweights Comfortdelgro Corporation Ltd and SATS Ltd gained more than 2% each. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0324 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3210.13 3200.13 0.31 Bangkok 1536.36 1534.14 0.14 Manila 7405.9 7352.85 0.72 Jakarta 5976.096 5978.51 -0.04 Kuala Lumpur 1549.22 1536.79 0.81 Ho Chi Minh 929.62 925.91 0.40 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3210.13 3222.83 -0.39 Bangkok 1536.36 1579.84 -2.75 Manila 7405.9 7,815.26 -5.24 Jakarta 5976.096 6,299.54 -5.13 Kuala Lumpur 1549.22 1588.76 -2.49 Ho Chi Minh 929.62 960.99 -3.26 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; editing by Uttaresh.V)

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise as virus fears spur rate-cut hopes in region

Feb 05 2020

* Thai c.bank cuts policy rate by 25 bps * Policy easing steps on cards for Philippines too * Indonesia reports slower-than-expected Q4 GDP growth By Shruti Sonal Feb 5 Hopes of policy-easing measures led Philippines and Singapore shares to end over 1% higher on Wednesday, while Thai stocks gained after the country's central bank unexpectedly cut its policy rate amid the coronavirus epidemic. Singapore stocks climbed nearly 1.4% to close at their highest since Jan. 27, after the central bank signalled there was room for monetary easing via a weaker currency within the current policy framework, to support an economy sapped by the virus outbreak. Although the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said its monetary policy stance was unchanged, ANZ Research analysts said the "the message is clear. MAS is comfortable, and indeed seemingly welcomes, a weaker exchange rate in light of the economic impact from the 2019-nCoV outbreak". "By making today's comments, they have in effect delivered a de-facto easing via the market", ANZ added in the note. Real estate stocks buoyed the index, with Ascendas Real Investment Trust and UOL Group Ltd gaining over 3% each. The Philippines index closed 1.7% higher, with index heavyweight GT Capital Holdings Inc jumping about 5%. Data showed January inflation was at its highest in eight months, but the outcome was still within the Philippines central bank's comfort range and supported views that it will likely cut rates at its meeting on Thursday. "Given the bleak outlook for global growth and dissipating threats to the inflation outlook, BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) will likely keep its foot on the easing pedal to help bolster sagging growth momentum", Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING said. The Thai benchmark index inched up about 1% after the country's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points in an unexpected move, its third reduction in six months, taking it to a record low of 1.0%. Muangthai Capital PCL and Robinson PCL were up over 3% each. Meanwhile, Indonesian shares gained nearly 1% after data showed that economic growth in the fourth quarter slowed to its weakest pace in three years, leading to hopes of further rate cuts to shield the economy. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3200.13 3156.57 1.38 Bangkok 1534.14 1519.38 0.97 Manila 7352.85 7226.9 1.74 Jakarta 5978.51 5922.339 0.95 Kuala Lumpur 1536.79 1535.8 0.06 Ho Chi Minh 925.91 929.09 -0.34 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3200.13 3222.83 -0.70 Bangkok 1534.14 1579.84 -2.89 Manila 7352.85 7,815.26 -5.92 Jakarta 5978.51 6,299.54 -5.10 Kuala Lumpur 1536.79 1588.76 -3.27 Ho Chi Minh 925.91 960.99 -3.65 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines, Singapore gain on rate cut hopes

Feb 05 2020

* MAS says policy stance unchanged, but signals room for easing * Thai c.bank decision due later in the day * Philippine Jan inflation rises, but rate cut still likely * Indonesia Q4 GDP growth rate slower-than-expected By Shruti Sonal Feb 5 Philippine stocks rose on Wednesday, boosted by expectations of an interest rate cut despite a surprise jump in January inflation, while Singapore shares gained after its central bank said it had room to ease policy if required. The Philippine index gained more than 1.3%, with index heavyweights San Miguel Corp and GT Capital Holdings Inc jumping about 5% and 3%, respectively. Data showed January inflation was at its highest in eight months, but the outcome was still within the Philippine central bank's comfort range and supported views that it will likely cut rates at its meeting on Thursday. "Given the bleak outlook for global growth and dissipating threats to the inflation outlook, BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) will likely keep its foot on the easing pedal to help bolster sagging growth momentum", Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING for Philippines said. Singapore stocks rose 0.6%, buoyed by financials and industrials, after the central bank signalled it had room for easing if required, amid an economy sapped by the virus outbreak. Jardine Strategic Holdings and UOL Group Ltd gained about 2% each. Most other regional markets posted minor gains as hopes rose for more stimulus measures by China to limit the economic impact due to a virus outbreak that has killed nearly 500 people. China is readying more measures to stabilize its economy, which includes an additional trimming of some key lending rates in the coming weeks along with the hundreds of billions of dollars it has already infused in the financial system. Thai equities also rose marginally ahead of a central bank meeting later in the day. The Bank of Thailand is largely expected to keep rates on hold, but "odds of a preemptive cut are rising" in light of the impact of the virus on tourism earnings, DBS Economics & Strategy analysts said in a note. Indonesian shares, which rose as much as 0.8% earlier in the day, pared some gains after data showed its economy grew at a slower-than-expected rate in the final quarter of 2019. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0327 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3173.75 3156.57 0.54 Bangkok 1520.82 1519.38 0.09 Manila 7317.05 7226.9 1.25 Jakarta 5955.41 5922.339 0.56 Kuala Lumpur 1533.34 1535.8 -0.16 Ho Chi Minh 926.26 929.09 -0.30 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3173.75 3222.83 -1.52 Bangkok 1520.82 1579.84 -3.74 Manila 7317.05 7,815.26 -6.37 Jakarta 5955.41 6,299.54 -5.46 Kuala Lumpur 1533.34 1588.76 -3.49 Ho Chi Minh 926.26 960.99 -3.61 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; editing by Uttaresh.V)

SE Asia Stocks-Gain on recovery in China stocks; Malaysia snaps 10-day losing streak

Feb 04 2020

* Chinese benchmark ends 1.3% higher on Tuesday * Rise in Dec. exports boost Malaysian shares * Philippine index gains on rate cut prospects By Shruti Sonal Feb 4 Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Tuesday as China's central bank made a concerted effort to prop up the economy to calm virus fears, while upbeat economic data further lifted Singapore and Malaysian shares. The Shanghai Composite index recovered some lost ground, rising 1.3% after China said it would welcome assistance from the United States to fight the outbreak, even as it injected cash into markets and eased a key lending rate. "Stimulus measures from the Chinese central bank may have also helped sentiment as well, with other central banks possibly conducting their own measures to cushion the impending economic impact," ING senior economist Nicholas Mapa said. Investors' sentiment was also aided by a surprisingly solid reading of U.S. manufacturing, which rebounded in January after contracting for five straight months amid a surge in new orders. Singapore shares bounced back from sharp losses in the previous session to end 1.3% higher, boosted by solid manufacturing data. The city-state's manufacturing data https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapore-electronics-mood-brightens-in-jan-but-supply-chain-break-looms improved in January from the previous month, its second month of expansion after six straight months of contraction. Financials and industrials led gains in the index, with United Overseas Bank Ltd rising 1.9%. Malaysian shares snapped 10 straight sessions of losses as data showed exports in the country rose for the first time in five months in December. Index heavyweights Petronas Gas Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd rose 3.4% and 2.1%, respectively. The Philippine benchmark closed 1.3% higher, as prospects of a rate cut buoyed financial stocks. The country's central bank is expected to cut interest rates on Thursday, taking advantage of benign inflation to support the economy against the negative impact of the spreading virus outbreak, a Reuters poll showed. BDO Unibank Inc and Security Bank Corp gained 4.3% and 2%, respectively. Indonesian equities gained 0.7% after an official of the country's central bank said its economy will suffer little impact from a virus outbreak in China. He further added that Bank Indonesia maintains its 2020 outlook for economic growth of 5.1% to 5.5%. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT gained over 2% in its best session since Dec. 18, 2019. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3156.57 3116.31 1.29 Bangkok 1519.38 1496.06 1.56 Manila 7226.9 7137.03 1.26 Jakarta 5922.339 5884.17 0.65 Kuala Lumpur 1535.8 1521.95 0.91 Ho Chi Minh 929.09 928.14 0.10 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3156.57 3222.83 -2.06 Bangkok 1519.38 1579.84 -3.83 Manila 7226.9 7,815.26 -7.53 Jakarta 5922.339 6,299.54 -5.99 Kuala Lumpur 1535.8 1588.76 -3.33 Ho Chi Minh 929.09 960.99 -3.32 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Bernard Orr)

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets rebound on China bounce, U.S. factory strength

Feb 03 2020

* China markets recover after a $400 bln wipeout * Singapore index posts best session since Sept. 11, 2019 * Malaysian equities set to snap 10 sessions of losses By Shruti Sonal Feb 4 Most Southeast Asian stock markets rebounded on Tuesday, tracking a recovery in China stocks amid official efforts to calm virus fears, while surprise strength in U.S. manufacturing activity also lent support. The Shangai Composite index recovered some lost ground, following a $400 billion wipeout on Monday, after China said it would welcome assistance from the United States to fight a coronavirus outbreak. Analysts believe that the slowing rate of new confirmed cases outside China will help mitigate investor anxiety. However, Hong Kong reported its first fatality on Tuesday, marking the second death outside mainland China and taking the total number of coronavirus deaths in China to 425, as of the end of Monday, from 20,438 cases. "Stimulus measures from the Chinese central bank may have also helped sentiment as well, with other central banks possibly conducting their own measures to cushion the impending economic impact," ING senior economist Nicholas Mapa said. Southeast Asian markets have also taken comfort in a surprisingly solid reading of U.S. manufacturing, which rebounded in January after contracting for five straight months amid a surge in new orders. Domestic manufacturing data helped trade-reliant Singapore shares rebound from sharp losses in the previous session, with the index marking its best session since Sept. 11 last year. The city-state's manufacturing data https://sipmm.edu.sg/about-sipmm-academy/singapore-pmi rose to 50.3 in January, its second month of expansion after six straight months of contraction, the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) showed. Financials and industrials led gains in the index, with Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd jumping nearly 3%. Leading gains in the region, the Philippine benchmark climbed 1.8%, buoyed by index heavyweight Globe Telecom Inc that jumped more than 4% after posting an increase in full-year net income. Malaysian shares were on track to snap 10 straight sessions of losses ahead of December trade data due later in the day. Analysts at ING expect a continuation of moderation in the country's exports, which contracted 5.5% in November from a year-ago period, slower than October's fall of 6.7%. Indonesian equities and Thai stocks were up as much as 1% and 0.6% respectively, while the Vietnam index dropped nearly 0.7%. For Asian Companies click SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS at 0400 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3157.07 3116.31 1.31 Bangkok 1506.41 1496.06 0.69 Manila 7249.78 7137.03 1.58 Jakarta 5930.226 5884.17 0.78 Kuala Lumpur 1542.56 1521.95 1.35 Ho Chi Minh 922.06 928.14 -0.66 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3157.07 3222.83 -2.04 Bangkok 1506.41 1579.84 -4.65 Manila 7249.78 7,815.26 -7.24 Jakarta 5930.226 6,299.54 -5.86 Kuala Lumpur 1542.56 1588.76 -2.91 Ho Chi Minh 922.06 960.99 -4.05 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Track losses in Chinese stocks to end lower; virus toll rises

Feb 03 2020

* Shanghai markets plunge post Lunar New Year break * Singapore stocks close at lowest level since Oct. 18, 2019 * Malaysian shares extend losses for tenth straight session By Shruti Sonal Feb 3 Southeast Asian stocks fell on Monday, tracking a steep sell-off in Chinese equities which faced the brunt of investor worries over a rising death toll from the coronavirus epidemic on the first day of trade after the Lunar New Year break. The number of deaths in China from the newly identified virus, which emerged in Wuhan city in the central province of Hubei in December, had risen to 361 as of Sunday, according to the National Health Commission. The Shanghai Composite index shed nearly 9% and lost as much as $420 billion of its value even as the country's central bank cut interest rates on reverse repurchase agreements and pledged to inject $174 billion of liquidity into markets. Leading losses in the region were Singapore shares which dropped 1.2% to hit lowest since Oct. 18, 2019. Comfortdelgro Corp Ltd, which operates in nine Chinese cities, fell nearly 2% and was among the biggest percentage loser on the index. "Sentiment remains very fragile as markets dynamically try to get a sense of when containment will catch up with contagion," Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank, said. Economic data from China, the region's biggest trading partner, added to the gloom as factory activity slowed in January, while annual industrial profit also fell. Vietnam stocks, which dropped as much as 4.8% during the day, pared some losses to end 0.9% lower. Vietjet Aviation JSC plunged 7% after Vietnam briefly halted all flights to and from China including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Philippines, which reported the first fatality related to the virus outside mainland China, saw its benchmark index fall 0.9%. Financials were the biggest drag on the index, with Security Bank Corp hitting its lowest since July 2019. Malaysian equities extended losses for a tenth straight session. Palm oil producing firms Sime Darby Bhd and Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd fell nearly 2.4% each after India raised the import tax on crude palm oil to 44% from 37.5% on Saturday. Indonesian shares fell nearly 1%, weighed down by consumer and communication stocks. The country is slated to report fourth-quarter GDP figures on Wednesday at 0400 GMT. A Reuters poll showed growth in Southeast Asia's largest economy probably edged up in the final quarter of last year, but full-year growth could slow for the first time in four years. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3116.31 3153.73 -1.19 Bangkok 1496.06 1514.14 -1.19 Manila 7137.03 7200.79 -0.89 Jakarta 5884.17 5940.048 -0.94 Kuala Lumpur 1521.95 1531.06 -0.60 Ho Chi Minh 928.14 936.62 -0.91 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3116.31 3222.83 -3.31 Bangkok 1496.06 1579.84 -5.30 Manila 7137.03 7,815.26 -8.68 Jakarta 5884.17 6,299.54 -6.59 Kuala Lumpur 1521.95 1588.76 -4.21 Ho Chi Minh 928.14 960.99 -3.42 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

SE Asia Stocks-Slip as virus toll fuels slowdown fears; Vietnam dives 5%

Feb 02 2020

* Coronavirus death toll crosses 350 * Markets track China stocks lower after Lunar New Year break * Malaysian shares hit their lowest since Aug 2015 By Shruti Sonal Feb 3 Southeast Asian stocks fell on Monday, with the Vietnam index losing nearly 5%, as mounting fears over a virus outbreak drove a steep sell-off in Chinese stocks after markets reopened following extended holidays for the Lunar New Year. The death toll from the new coronavirus in China's central province of Hubei rose by 56 to 350 on Monday, state television said, citing official figures. In a bid to support the economy, the central bank of China - the region's biggest trading partner - unexpectedly cut interest rates on reverse repurchase agreements and pledged to inject $174 billion of liquidity into markets. The Shanghai Composite Index shed nearly 9% despite the measures, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was on track for an eighth straight session of losses. Shares in trade-reliant Singapore dropped over 1%, weighed down by real estate stocks, with index heavyweights Mapletree Commercial Trust and Capitaland Commercial Trust diving 1.7% and 1.5% respectively. "Sentiment remains very fragile as markets dynamically try to get a sense of when containment will catch up with contagion," Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank, said in a note to clients. "Until then, backstops and stabilization may be more a punctuation in the "risk-off" environment, rather than a turnaround in sentiment," Varathan said. Economic data from China added to the gloom as factory activity slowed in January, while annual industrial profit also fell in the world's second-largest economy. Leading losses in the region, Vietnam stocks dropped 4.8% and suffered their worst session since October 2018, dragged down by financial and real estate sectors. Vietjet Aviation JSC fell 7% to hit its lowest since June 20 last year, after Vietnam during the weekend declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus epidemic and briefly halted all flights to and from China including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Malaysian equities extended losses for a tenth straight session to hit their lowest since August 2015, with leading decliners Top Glove Corp Bhd and telecom firm Axiata Group Bhd shedding nearly 2% each. Indonesian shares fell as much as 1%, weighed down by consumer and communication stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0315 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3122.12 3153.73 -1.00 Bangkok 1506.36 1514.14 -0.51 Manila 7189.52 7200.79 -0.16 Jakarta 5897.186 5940.048 -0.72 Kuala Lumpur 1526.35 1531.06 -0.31 Ho Chi Minh 903.89 936.62 -3.49 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3122.12 3222.83 -3.12 Bangkok 1506.36 1579.84 -4.65 Manila 7189.52 7,815.26 -8.01 Jakarta 5897.186 6,299.54 -6.39 Kuala Lumpur 1526.35 1588.76 -3.93 Ho Chi Minh 903.89 960.99 -5.94 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets trim early gains as Mideast airstrikes hit sentiment

Jan 03 2020

* Senior Iran official killed in U.S. airstrike * The Philippine index closes at more than one-week high * Singapore stocks dragged lower by financials By Shruti Sonal Jan 3 Most Southeast Asian stock markets trimmed early gains on Friday as mounting Middle Eastern tensions dented sentiment, while the Philippine index closed 1.3% firmer after investors picked up beaten-down stocks. Risk appetite across global markets faltered after U.S. airstrikes at Baghdad airport killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, heightening geopolitical tensions. Most regional markets pulled back from session highs yet ended in the black, with most of them posting solid weekly gains, as a steady growth in China's production activity and its central bank announcing a cut in banks' reserve ratio supported the mood. Against the backdrop of a thaw in trade tensions between the United States and China, global markets had seen renewed appetite for risk assets. "Investors appear to bet that the initial caution will pass, preferring to focus on the broader global recovery story," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA. The Philippine index on Friday rebounded from previous session's sharp decline to close at its highest in more than a week, underpinned by industrial and consumer stocks. The index gained 0.3% for the week. "The PSE has managed to bounce from yesterday mainly on bargain hunting after the first day slump," said Nicholas Antonio Mapa, senior economist at ING. Universal Robina Corp and JG Summit Holdings Inc were the top percentage gainers in the benchmark index. Thai shares closed flat after rising to their highest in more than five weeks. Losses in industrial and healthcare stocks offset gains in energy shares that had rallied earlier in the day after the U.S. airstrike stoked concerns about oil supply disruptions. Airports of Thailand Pcl fell as much as 2% following brokerage Jefferies' note that said it expected the company's domestic passengers growth to remain in a downward trend in 2020. The Singapore index was dragged lower by financials, but the benchmark posted weekly gains of 0.3%. DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd slid about 1% each after China's Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holdings, said it had joined the race for a digital banking licence in the city-state. Malaysian equities ended 0.5% higher, lifted by healthcare and basic materials stocks, with the benchmark posting weekly gains of 0.1%. Data showed that Malaysia's exports dropped for the fourth straight month in November, contracting 5.5% from a year earlier, though slower than the 6.7% fall recorded in October. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3238.82 3252 -0.41 Bangkok 1594.97 1595.82 -0.05 Manila 7839.79 7742.53 1.26 Jakarta 6323.466 6283.581 0.63 Kuala Lumpur 1611.38 1602.5 0.55 Ho Chi Minh 965.14 966.67 -0.16 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3238.82 3222.83 0.50 Bangkok 1594.97 1579.84 0.96 Manila 7839.79 7,815.26 0.31 Jakarta 6323.466 6,299.54 0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1611.38 1588.76 1.42 Ho Chi Minh 965.14 960.99 0.43 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most extend gains on China policy easing, production survey

Jan 02 2020

* Financials drag Singapore lower * Philippines recovers some lost ground * Energy stocks help Thailand rise By Shruti Sonal Jan 3 Most Southeast Asian stock markets extended gains on Friday after Wall Street notched another record high on China's policy easing move and a private survey showing solid production growth in the world's second-largest economy. Broader Asian shares pared early gains after news of U.S. air strikes in Iraq, but markets in Southeast Asia remained relatively steady. "Investors appear to bet that the initial caution will pass, preferring to focus on the broader global recovery story," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA. A survey on Thursday showed Chinese production activity in December continued to grow and business confidence strengthened, indicating a recovery in the economy in the wake of a Phase 1 trade deal with the United States. The Chinese central bank said on Wednesday it was cutting the amount of cash that all banks must hold as reserves, releasing around 800 billion yuan ($114.91 billion) in funds to shore up the slowing economy. Philippine shares climbed nearly 1% after a more than 2% drop on Thursday, helped by industrial and consumer stocks. Port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc and beverage products maker Universal Robina Corp were the top percentage gainers on the benchmark index. Malaysian equities rose 0.5%, helped by healthcare and basic material stocks. IHH Healthcare Bhd and Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd gained 2.2% and 1.7%, respectively. Meanwhile, data showed exports dropped for the fourth straight month in November, contracting 5.5% from a year earlier on lower shipments of manufactured goods and commodities. Energy stocks helped Thailand shares rise to their highest since Nov. 28 on the back of higher oil prices after U.S. air strikes killed Iran and Iraq officials. Oil and gas giant PTT Pcl advanced 2.2%, while Star Petroleum Refining Pcl rose over 3.6%. Singapore stocks fell 0.5%, dragged by financials. DBS Group Holdings slid as much as 1% after China's Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holdings , said on Thursday it had joined the race for a digital banking licence in the city state. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0336 GMT STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3232.32 3252 -0.61 Bangkok 1599.76 1595.82 0.25 Manila 7818.73 7742.53 0.98 Jakarta 6302.477 6283.581 0.30 Kuala Lumpur 1610.06 1602.5 0.47 Ho Chi Minh 970.36 966.67 0.38 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3232.32 3222.83 0.29 Bangkok 1599.76 1579.84 1.26 Manila 7818.73 7,815.26 0.04 Jakarta 6302.477 6,299.54 0.05 Kuala Lumpur 1610.06 1588.76 1.34 Ho Chi Minh 970.36 960.99 0.98 1 = 4.1000 ringgit) (Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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