June 3, 2019 / 4:13 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines rises on monetary easing promise; others decline

    * Philippine stocks hit near 4-mth high
    * Singapore shares fall to lowest since Jan 8
    * Malaysia down; April exports +1.1% y/y vs -1% forecast

    By Niyati Shetty
    June 3 (Reuters) - Philippine shares climbed for the fifth
straight session on Monday after the central bank governor's
promise of further policy easing on Friday, while other
Southeast Asian equities declined due to heightened Sino-U.S.
tensions over the weekend.
    Governor Benjamin Diokno of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on
Friday said in an interview here
 with Bloomberg TV that there was more room for monetary easing,
promising further rate cuts and lower reserve requirement for
banks to support the economy.
    Last month, after trimming its key interest rate, the
central bank said it would also cut the amount of cash that
banks must hold as reserves to help boost liquidity as economic
growth slows.
    The Manila index rose as much as 1.6% to a near
4-month high, boosted by the real estate sector.
    Property developers Ayala Land Inc and SM Prime
Holdings Inc added 6.1% and 1.8%, respectively.
    DBS Bank analysts said they favoured markets like
Philippines, which were domestic demand oriented, had the
flexibility for policy stimulus and where valuations were
attractive enough to cushion the downside of trade risks.
    Meanwhile, risk sentiment was on the downside in other
regional stock markets as the United States and China clashed
again over trade and security.
    While the world's biggest economies accused each other of
destabilising the Asian region, a senior Chinese official and
trade negotiator said on Sunday the United States cannot use
pressure to force a trade deal on China.
    "The series of actions over the weekend means that China's
"long march" has begun. We take this seriously. It means that
the trade war has not only become a technology war but also a
broad-based business war," said Iris Pang, an economist at ING,
in a note.
    The Singapore index lost 0.4%, hitting its lowest in
nearly five months. Lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd
slipped 1.2% and conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd
 declined 0.7%.
    Vietnam shares fell up to 1.3%, dragged by financials
and real estate stocks. Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign
Trade of Viet Nam lost 4.8% and Vinhomes JSC
fell 2.9%. 
    The Malaysian index declined 0.3% even as government
data on Monday showed exports rose unexpectedly in April after
two consecutive months of decline, helped by higher exports of
manufactured goods.
    Exports rose 1.1% in April from a year earlier, above the 1%
decline forecast in a Reuters poll.
    Thai financial markets were closed on Monday due to
holidays, while Indonesia is closed for the week. 

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0406 GMT
    
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3111.92   3117.76         -0.19
 Manila                 8085.32   7970.02         1.45
 Kuala Lumpur           1645.72   1650.76         -0.31
 Ho Chi Minh            952.71    959.88          -0.75
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3111.92   3068.76         1.41
 Manila                 8085.32   7,466.02        8.29
 Kuala Lumpur           1645.72   1690.58         -2.65
 Ho Chi Minh            952.71    892.54          6.74
 
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar
Warrier)
  
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