January 2, 2020 / 9:52 AM / 2 months ago

CORRECTED-SE Asia Stocks-Most ring in New Year on a high note; Philippines, Indonesia fall (Jan 2)

 (Corrects the values in the 3rd column of the second table to
show end 2019 figures, not end 2017, and the values for the
percentage changes in 4th column in the second table.)
    * Singapore shares hit highest since Nov. 18
    * Philippine index falls as much as 2%
    * Indonesia hits lowest in about two weeks

    By Shruti Sonal
    Jan 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
the first trading session of 2020 higher on Thursday as they
cheered signs of an impending Phase 1 Sino-U.S. trade deal,
while Philippine and Indonesian shares dragged. 
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Phase 1 of
trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15.
    News of monetary policy easing by China, the region's top
trade partner, also aided sentiment after the country's central
bank on Wednesday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as
reserves to boost the economy.
    Singapore shares hit their highest closing level in
over six weeks, as the city-state's fourth-quarter GDP data came
in line with expectations and firmed hopes for a modest recovery
in 2020.
    "The economy is slowly getting out of the woods," said Irvin
Seah, an economist at DBS Group Research, adding that "growth
momentum is expected to pick up gradually in the coming
quarters."
    Thai equities rose as much as 1% in thin volume
trade, buoyed by gains in energy stocks after oil prices climbed
on Thursday.
    Oil and gas giant PTT PCL surged over 3%.
    Meanwhile, Philippine shares closed 0.9% lower on
their first trading day since Dec. 27, 2019, dragged by
utilities and industrials.
    The two sectors have been strained since Philippines' water
regulator cancelled the extension of concession deals with the
country's two largest utilities Manila Water Co Inc and
Maynilad Water Services after pressure from President Rodrigo
Duterte.
    Metro Pacific Investments Corp, major shareholder
of Maynilad Water Services, slumped as much as 8.1%.
    The Indonesian index fell over 0.5%, while trading
volumes were lesser than their 30-day moving average. About 3.26
billion shares changed hands, compared to a volume of 5.28
billion on the same day last year. 
    The flooding and landslides in Jakarta, among the deadliest
in years, killed up to 21 people and caused chaos in part of the
city, with train lines blocked and power outages in some areas.

    "It is a weak market today as floods are still preventing
people to come to office, affecting trading. We expect normal
trading will resume Monday next week", said Isnaputra Iskandar,
head of research, Indonesia at Maybank Kim Eng.
    Consumers was the worst hit sector, with Tifico Fiber
Indonesia Tbk PT slumping to its lowest levels in over
two months.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on day                             
 Market          Current   Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3252.02   3222.83         0.91
 Bangkok         1595.26   1579.84         0.98
 Manila          7742.53   7815.26         -0.93
 Jakarta         6283.581  6299.539        -0.25
 Kuala Lumpur    1602.5    1588.76         0.86
 Ho Chi Minh     966.67    960.99          0.59
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore       3252.02   3222.83         0.91
 Bangkok         1595.26   1579.84         0.98
 Manila          7742.53   7815.26         -0.93
 Jakarta         6283.581  6299.539        -0.25
 Kuala Lumpur    1602.5    1588.76         0.86
 Ho Chi Minh     966.67    960.99          0.59
 
 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
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