May 7, 2019 / 5:05 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on hopes China will push ahead with U.S. trade talks

    * China to go ahead with talks despite Trump's threat
    * Malaysia awaits policy rate decision
    * Thai stocks fall after holiday

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks recovered on
Tuesday on expectations China will still go ahead with trade
talks after U.S. prepared to impose tariffs on more Chinese
goods from Friday, while some economies in the region awaited
rate-cut decisions.
    Asian shares remained fragile after U.S. President Donald
Trump's latest threat to raise tariffs on more Chinese goods
shocked financial markets and fuelled worries that trade talks
may be derailed.
    However, fears of an escalation in trade war were somewhat
calmed by a statement from China's foreign ministry that a
delegation was still preparing to travel to the United States
for talks.
    "The markets are probably relieved that China has not
reacted with threats of retaliatory tariffs, but has chosen to
send delegates to the U.S. to continue negotiations instead.
However, there is the possibility that talks will be extended
again as China holds its ground on certain issues," said Liu
Jinshu, director of research at NRA Capital. 
    The Philippine index gained about 0.7 percent, as a
possible rate cut became more evident after data showed the
nation's annual inflation in April had slowed.
    "This inflation print paves the way for the BSP to cut the
Overnight Reverse Repurchase Rate (RRP) by 25 bps at its
monetary policy meeting on Thursday," ANZ Research said in a
note to clients.
    Indonesian shares rose 0.68 percent with
telecommunications stocks leading gains.
    Some analysts have argued Indonesia's central bank has room
to unwind rate hikes to support economic growth this year, after
data on Monday showed that the country's economy expanded more
slowly than expected in the first quarter, as investment
dropped.
    Malaysian stocks rose 0.5 percent, their biggest
intraday percentage gain since April 24, with telecommunication
service providers Axiata Group and Digi.com
among best performers.
    Malaysia's central bank is expected to cut its policy rate
by 25 basis points later in the day as the country faces subdued
inflation.
    Singapore stocks, which are most exposed to the
U.S.-China trade conflict, rose 0.3 percent, after shedding more
than 3 percent on Monday.
    Southeast Asia's largest lender DBS Group rose as
much as 1.3 percent while Conglomerate Keppel Corp
gained 1.5 percent.
    Thai stocks traded 0.5 percent lower, led down by
energy and healthcare shares.

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0359
    
    
  Market            Current    Previous  Pct Move
                               Close     
  Singapore         3296.8     3290.62   0.19
  Bangkok           1672.02    1679.05   -0.42
  Manila            7920.08    7862.3    0.73
  Jakarta           6298.279   6256.352  0.67
  Kuala Lumpur      1639.81    1632.8    0.43
  Ho Chi Minh       958.84     957.97    0.09
                                         
  Change on year                         
  Market            Current    End 2017  Pct Move
  Singapore         3296.8     3068.76   7.43
  Bangkok           1672.02    1563.88   6.91
  Manila            7920.08    8558.42   -7.46
  Jakarta           6298.279   6194.498  1.68
  Kuala Lumpur      1639.81    1690.58   -3.00
  Ho Chi Minh       958.84     984.24    -2.58
 
 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
  
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