May 8, 2020 / 4:33 AM / 20 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain after talks between U.S., Chinese trade officials

    * Thailand set to snap five-week winning streak
    * Australia announces reopening schedule

    By Pranav A K
    May 8 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Friday as investors focused on talks between U.S. and Chinese
trade officials and after some countries showed progress in
plans to reopen their coronavirus-hit economies.
    Amid escalating bilateral tensions, top trade
representatives of China and the United States held a phone call
earlier in the day to discuss their Phase 1 trade deal and
agreed to strengthen macroeconomic and public health
cooperation.
    "The mood in Asia is upbeat with China and U.S. trade
ambassadors having a very positive call this morning," said
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
    Sentiment also got a lift after Australia announced plans to
reopen its economy that is estimated to restore 850,000 jobs.
    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday the
country will ease social distancing restrictions in a three-step
process, with the aim of removing all curbs by July.

    Malaysian stocks rose 0.9% and led gains in the
region ahead of March industrial production data.
    Shares of the world's biggest medical gloves maker, Top
Glove Bhd, leapt to its all-time high, while MISC Bhd
 rose 2.2%.
    Thai shares advanced 0.7%, with energy stocks
lending support. The benchmark was set to lose about 2.8% for
the week, after five straight weeks of gain.
    Indonesian equities ticked up in choppy trade as the
COVID-19 pandemic showed no signs of abating in the country.
    "Jakarta is concerned about the total economic hit that
Indonesia will suffer from the outbreak. It lacks enough
technicians and equipment to increase testing and Finance
Minister this week said all of the gains of the past decade
could be wiped out," added Halley
    Indonesia reported 338 new coronavirus cases on Thursday,
with the death toll standing at 930, the highest in East Asia
outside China.
    Bucking the trend, Philippine stocks traded largely
in the red, a day after reporting an unexpected slowdown in
first-quarter economic growth. 
    Shares of Ayala Land and Bank of Phillippine
Islands fell 2.1% and 1.6%, respectively.
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0342 GMT
    
 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2594.53  2591.6          0.11
 Bangkok                1263.65  1257.98         0.45
 Manila                 5647.89  5653.16         -0.09
 Jakarta                4612.48  4608.79         0.08
 Kuala Lumpur           1391.82  1376.93         1.08
 Ho Chi Minh            807.58   796.54          1.39
                                                 
 Change so far in 2020                           
 Market                 Current  End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2594.53  3222.83         -19.50
 Bangkok                1263.65  1579.84         -20.01
 Manila                 5647.89  7,815.26        -27.73
 Jakarta                4612.48  6,299.54        -26.78
 Kuala Lumpur           1391.82  1588.76         -12.40
 Ho Chi Minh            807.58   960.99          -15.96
 


 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
  
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