August 8, 2018 / 4:47 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise tracking Asian peers; Philippines jumps 1.2 pct

    * Thailand gains ahead of central bank meet later in the day
    * Singapore's Singtel falls on lean Q1 profit

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    Aug 8 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks rose over 1 percent on
Wednesday ahead of GDP data release and central bank meeting,
while most other Southeast Asian markets gained in line with
broader Asian peers, supported by upbeat Wall Street earnings.
    Asia shares ex-Japan rose modestly in the
middle of a strong second-quarter U.S. earnings season and on
expectations that Beijing will ramp up fiscal stimulus to
cushion the impact of its trade dispute with Washington.    

    Manila's central bank looks certain to raise interest rates
for a third time this year at its meeting on Thursday, which
comes shortly after government data showed annual inflation move
further above its 2 percent-4 percent target range for 2018. 

    Boosted by industrials and banking stocks, Philippine shares
 snapped two straight sessions of declines to climb as
much as 1.2 percent.
    "The inflation number surged in July, but today the rise in
U.S. stock markets as well as the positioning ahead of the
release of the second-quarter GDP bolstered investor
confidence," said Manny Cruz, analyst, Manila-based Asiasec
Equities Inc.
    However, Philippine imports in June grew at the fastest pace
this year while exports dipped, bringing the trade deficit to
more than $3 billion for a third straight month, government data
showed on Wednesday.
    Thai shares extended gains, with gas supplier PTT
Public Co being the biggest boost.
    Thailand's central bank is expected to leave its policy
interest rate unchanged later in the day, to aid economic growth
as inflation remains benign and policymakers say capital
outflows are not currently a concern.
    Malaysian stocks inched higher, with telecom company
Axiata Group Bhd climbing as much as 1.8 percent.
    Indonesian shares recovered from previous session's
losses, buoyed by materials and consumer stocks. Paper
manufacturer Tjiwi Kimia jumped 11.8 percent to its
highest in over a month.
    Bucking the trend, Singapore stocks fell nearly 1
percent, pulled down by financials.
    Financial service provider DBS Group Holdings was
the biggest drag on the index, while Southeast Asia's largest
telecom operator Singapore Telecommunications hit a
one-month low after reporting a 6.6 percent fall in
first-quarter profit.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0439 GMT
 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3321.01   3340            -0.57
 Bangkok         1715.82   1707.26         0.50
 Manila          7802.92   7725.85         1.00
 Jakarta         6098.881  6091.25         0.13
 Kuala Lumpur    1798.13   1791.09         0.39
 Ho Chi Minh     962.22    956.79          0.57
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3321.01   3402.92         -2.41
 Bangkok         1715.82   1753.71         -2.16
 Manila          7802.92   8558.42         -8.83
 Jakarta         6098.881  6355.654        -4.04
 Kuala Lumpur    1798.13   1796.81         0.07
 Ho Chi Minh     962.22    984.24          -2.24
 
 (Additional reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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