Markets News

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia leads gains; Philippines recovers most early losses

    * Indonesia bolstered by locally focussed stocks
    * Philippines recoups most of day's losses on SM Prime

    By Ambar Warrick
    April 23 (Reuters) - Indonesia led gains across Southeast
Asian stock markets on Tuesday buoyed by prospects of steady
economic growth in 2020, while Philippine markets ended slightly
lower following a recovery in the country's largest stock. 
    Most regional markets had treaded water during the day due
to apprehension over sustained stimulus measures in China, their
largest trading partner. A spike in oil prices was also expected
to bite local players with large oil imports. 
    However, Indonesian stocks closed nearly 0.8 percent
higher after a finance ministry official said the government
will target 5.3 percent to 5.6 percent economic growth in 2020,
compared with 2019's target of 5.3 percent.
    For the day, consumer staples and telecom stocks led gains,
with Unilever Indonesia adding about 2 percent, while
Telekomunikasi Indonesia rose 1.9 percent. Both
sectors are heavily reliant on domestic demand.
    Spirits were also high over the re-election prospects of
incumbent President Joko Widodo, along with anticipation ahead
of the first-quarter earnings season.
    Malaysian equities ended 0.3 percent higher after
regulators reassured investors that the country's financials
markets remained "resilient." The benchmark index recovered
after touching a more than three-year low on Thursday. 
    Local assets had taken a beating last week after FTSE
flagged a possible exclusion of Malaysia's debt from its World
Government Bond Index at the end of a review period in
    For the day, most sectors ended higher. Latex gloves maker
Hartalega Holdings  was the largest gainer on the
index after Kenanga Investment Bank upgraded the stock's rating.
    Philippine stocks pared most of the day's losses,
ending about 0.2 percent lower following a recovery in the
index's largest stock, SM Prime Holdings.
    The property developer ended about 1.8 percent higher after
it declared a cash dividend at a shareholder meeting, and
outlined about 80 billion Philippine pesos ($1.54 billion) for
its expansion plans in 2019.
    Philippine markets had dropped as much as 0.8 percent in the
morning after an earthquake in the country caused some
disruption at major urban centres. 

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 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3353.47   3357.7          -0.13
 Bangkok            1671.31   1673.48         -0.13
 Manila             7818.93   7832.43         -0.17
 Jakarta            6462.822  6414.743        0.75
 Kuala Lumpur       1627.44   1622.06         0.33
 Ho Chi Minh        968       965.86          0.22
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore          3353.47   3068.76         9.28
 Bangkok            1671.31   1563.88         6.87
 Manila             7818.93   7466.02         4.73
 Jakarta            6462.822  6194.498        4.33
 Kuala Lumpur       1627.44   1690.58         -3.73
 Ho Chi Minh        968       892.54          8.45
 ($1 = 52.0500 Philippine pesos)

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi