November 15, 2018 / 10:05 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on China-U.S. trade hopes; Indonesia jumps 1.7 pct

    * Singapore snaps 4 straight sessions of declines
    * Indonesia c.bank raises benchmark interest rate
    * Philippine c.bank hikes rates for fifth time

    By Aman Swami
    Nov 15 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Thursday, in line with broader Asia on signs China and the
United States may be taking steps to de-escalate their bitter
trade dispute.
    U.S. government sources told Reuters on Wednesday that China
had sent a response to U.S. demands for trade reform but gave no
further details, raising hopes the two sides could resume
negotiations to end their trade war.
    The progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks was offering some
support to regional markets, said Liu Jinshu, director of
research, NRA Capital.
    "We probably will see the market drift higher over the next
couple of days as the G20 meeting approaches," he said, adding
that traders were talking about "odds of some form of
compromise" being achieved when U.S. President Donald Trump and
China President Xi Jinping meets later this month.
    Indonesian shares led the gains in Southeast Asia
with a 1.7 percent jump, marking their third straight winning
session.
    Telecom and consumer staples stocks were the top gainers
with index heavyweight Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) PT
 rising 4.3 percent, while conglomerate Unilever
Indonesia Tbk climbed 2.8 percent.
    Meanwhile, the central bank surprisingly raised its
benchmark interest rate for the sixth time this year, moving
ahead of any further U.S. rate hike in a bid to lower its
yawning current-account deficit.
    Earlier in the day, the country surprisingly posted a
larger-than-expected trade deficit in October, as sluggish
export growth failed to cover surging import bills.
    However, exports rose 3.59 percent to $15.80 billion, higher
than a 1.81 percent growth forecast in a Reuters poll. 
    Philippine shares edged higher, driven by gains in
financials. BDO Unibank Inc and Bank of the Philippine
Islands jumped 3 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
    The central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 25
basis points, its fifth hike this year, saying further policy
tightening was needed to curb inflationary pressures.

    Singapore shares snapped four straight sessions of
declines, with conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd
 climbing 2.2 percent, while CapitaLand Ltd 
rose 1.3 percent.
    Bucking the trend, Thai shares fell 0.8 percent,
dragged by losses in consumer staples and telecommunication
services stocks. 
    Digital life service provider Advanced Info Service PCL
 slipped 1.9 percent, while glass container
manufacturer Berli Jucker PCL plunged 9.8 percent. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change on day
 Market          Current   Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3054.53   3043.19         0.37
 Bangkok         1638.83   1652.3          -0.82
 Manila          6952.59   6923.08         0.43
 Jakarta         5955.736  5858.293        1.66
 Kuala Lumpur    1694.21   1688.41         0.34
 Ho Chi Minh     897.15    900.93          -0.42
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3054.53   3402.92         -10.24
 Bangkok         1638.83   1753.71         -6.55
 Manila          6952.59   8558.42         -18.76
 Jakarta         5955.736  6355.654        -6.29
 Kuala Lumpur    1694.21   1796.81         -5.71
 Ho Chi Minh     897.15    984.24          -8.85
 
 (Reporting by Aman Swami; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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