May 5, 2020 / 4:14 AM / 24 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most climb on optimism over easing coronavirus restrictions

    * The Philippines top gainer in region
    * Malaysia policy decision later in the day
    * Thailand falls

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 5 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets on
Tuesday clawed back some ground lost in the previous session, as
phased easing of coronavirus restrictions by some countries and
U.S. states bolstered hopes of an economic recovery.
    Sentiment was also aided by a firmer finish on Wall Street
overnight, as a rally in tech stocks eclipsed worries about
simmering U.S.-China tensions over the coronavirus' origin.
    "Investors seemed to take comfort in the announcements of
the gradual re-opening of countries and regions that were hard
hit by the COVID-19 pandemic," analysts at Mizuho said in a
note.
    Philippine shares rose as much as 1.3% and led gains
in the region, after data showed annual inflation eased to a
five-month low in April.
    Economists said the easing trend in inflation would provide
the central bank greater room to cut interest rates and reduce
banks' reserve requirement ratio to support growth.
    Meanwhile, shares of conglomerates Ayala Corp and
Metro Pacific Investments Corp climbed 6.8% and 8.8%,
respectively, after President Rodrigo Duterte apologised to the
firms' owners for his "hurting words".
    Singapore's Straits Times Index advanced up to 1.2%,
lifted by financials and energy-related stocks, which got a
boost from higher oil prices. 
    DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Southeast Asia's biggest
lender, firmed 0.8%, while conglomerate Keppel Corp
gained more than 3%.
    Malaysian stocks rose over 1%, helped by Petronas
Chemicals Group's 3.7% gain, and Axiata Group's
 more than 2% rise.
    The country's central bank began its two-day monetary policy
meeting on Monday, with a rate decision due later on Tuesday.  
    However, Thai stocks declined about 1.8%, on course
to end a four-session winning streak - a period during which
they added nearly 3.5%. 
    "Thai stocks look set to start the week with a downward bias
... to play catch-up with losses in overseas bourses when the
Thai stock market was closed on Friday and Monday," analysts at
Phillip Securities said in a note.    

    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0326 GMT
    
    
  Change on the day                                        
  Market              Current     Previous close   Pct Move
  Singapore           2586.74     2563.69          0.90
  Bangkok             1284.32     1301.66          -1.33
  Manila              5651.91     5572.09          1.43
  Jakarta             4646.67     4605.487         0.89
  Kuala Lumpur        1390.17     1376.59          0.99
 Ho Chi Minh          761.07      762.47           -0.18
                                                   
  Change so far in                                 
 2020                                              
  Market              Current     End 2019         Pct Move
  Singapore           2586.74     3222.83          -19.74
  Bangkok             1284.32     1579.84          -18.71
  Manila              5651.91     7,815.26         -27.68
  Jakarta             4646.67     6,299.54         -26.24
  Kuala Lumpur        1390.17     1588.76          -12.50
  Ho Chi Minh         761.07      960.99           -20.80
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya
Soni)
  
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