November 15, 2018 / 5:24 AM / 7 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia, Philippines rise; Sino-U.S. trade hopes lift sentiment

    * Philippine cenbank to announce rate decision later in the
    * Indonesia on track for a third consecutive session of
    * Malaysian shares boosted by financials and telecom stocks

    By Aman Swami
    Nov 15 (Reuters) - Indonesian and Philippine stocks climbed
on Thursday, in line with broader Asian peers, as reports of
China delivering a written response to U.S. trade demands
augured well for traders.
    China has delivered a written response to U.S. demands for
trade reforms, three U.S. government sources told Reuters on
Wednesday, sparking optimism that the world's two largest
economies could strike a deal to end a bitter trade war.
    Traders have cautiously welcomed news in recent days that
Washington and Beijing have resumed informal discussions ahead
of a meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping late
this month. Few market watchers expect a trade agreement at the
meeting, but hopes are growing that they may agree on a
de-escalation while the two sides pursue more detailed talks.
    The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan climbed 0.2 percent.
    Indonesian stocks jumped 1.1 percent, on track for a
third straight session of gains as financial and
telecommunication stocks underpinned the bullish sentiment.
    The archipelago nation surprisingly posted a
larger-than-expected trade deficit in October, as sluggish
export growth failed to cover surging import bills, data from
the statistics bureau showed on Thursday. Exports rose 3.59
percent in October to $15.80 billion, higher than the poll's
1.81 percent forecast.    
    Index heavyweights Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) PT
 rose as much as 2.7 percent, while shares of
conglomerate Unilever Indonesia Tbk climbed up to 1.8
percent, on track for a third consecutive session of gains.
    The Philippine benchmark index edged higher ahead of
a central bank rate decision later in the session. 
    Analysts are evenly split on whether the Philippine central
bank will raise interest rates to tackle high inflation after
the economy grew at its slowest annual pace in more than three
years in the third quarter.
    Conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc jumped as much
as 6.8 percent, while Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co
(PLDT), the country's most valuable listed firm, gained
up to 2 percent.
    Malaysian stocks edged higher, after closing flat in
the previous session, with Telekom Malaysia Bhd and
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd leading the gains.  
    "Overnight weakness in the U.S. markets could be dragging on
stocks in Asia. I am mindful that some markets are up on
reported progress in trade negotiations between the U.S. and
China," said Liu Jinshu, director of research, NRA Capital. 
    Meanwhile, Thai and Singapore shares traded
    Capitaland Ltd boosted the city-state's bourse,
climbing as much as 1.6 percent, while Oversea-Chinese Banking
Corporation Ltd dropped up to 1.4 percent. 
    Thai shares traded lower, dragged by losses in
consumer staples and telecommunication services stocks. Digital
life service provider Advanced Info Service PCL
slipped 2.2 percent, while glass container manufacturer Berli
Jucker PCL lost 4.9 percent.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3041.53   3043.19         -0.05
 Bangkok         1649.63   1652.3          -0.16
 Manila          6958.65   6923.08         0.51
 Jakarta         5920.726  5858.293        1.07
 Kuala Lumpur    1693.47   1688.41         0.30
 Ho Chi Minh     896.08    900.93          -0.54
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End prev yr     Pct Move
 Singapore       3041.53   3402.92         -10.62
 Bangkok         1649.63   1753.71         -5.93
 Manila          6958.65   8,558.42        -18.69
 Jakarta         5920.726  6,355.65        -6.84
 Kuala Lumpur    1693.47   1796.81         -5.75
 Ho Chi Minh     896.08    984.24          -8.96

 (Reporting by Aman Swami, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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