February 13, 2019 / 4:19 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most tepid; Singapore hits 3-week high on trade optimism

    * Financials are biggest boost on Singapore markets 
    * Philippines loses most in the region
    * Malaysian investors await country's Q4 GDP figures 

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Feb 13 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks climbed in line with
Asian peers on Wednesday, lifted by the possibility that
Washington and Beijing might reach an agreement in trade talks,
while other regional markets flitted in a flat-to-lower range
after paring early gains.
    Ahead of the high-level talks due in Beijing this week, U.S.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he could let the March 1
deadline "slide for a little while", although he said he was not
inclined to doing so.
    Trump's comments prompted a rally in Wall Street and Asian
markets, most of whom have high trade exposure with China. 
    Tracking Asian peers, Singapore markets traded 1.1
percent higher to a three-week peak. Financials were the biggest
boost, with lender DBS Group scaling as much as 2
percent.    
    "Taking the cue from Wall Street's overnight gains, STI may
see support at 3,200 and resistance at 3,230," OCBC said in a
note.
    Philippine markets shed early gains to drop about 1
percent, extending their declines to a fourth session. The
index, which has outperformed its peers so far in 2019,
experienced some easing after it touched an 11-month high last
week.
    Industrial and financial stocks dragged the Philippine stock
index lower, with conglomerate JG Summit Holdings
slipping as much as 3.5 percent, while Security Bank Corp
 tumbled up to 3.7 percent.
    Malaysian shares traded flat ahead of the country's
fourth-quarter GDP figures release on Thursday. 
    Telecommunication stocks were the top drag on the country's
main index as teleco Axiata Group Bhd skid as much as
1.5 percent.
    Malaysia's economy probably grew faster in the fourth
quarter with exports and private consumption helping to snap
four quarters of slowing growth, a Reuters poll showed.

    However, global trade headwinds are expected to have an
adverse impact on Malaysia, which is among the largest exporters
of palm oil. 
    Meanwhile, Thailand shares rose 0.4 percent, while
the Vietnam index traded flat.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0412 GMT
    
 STOCK MARKETS                                
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3235.2    3201.15         1.06
 Bangkok            1650.1    1642.49         0.46
 Manila             7913.71   8009.92         -1.20
 Jakarta            6443.138  6426.325        0.26
 Kuala Lumpur       1685.98   1687.41         -0.08
 Ho Chi Minh        939.56    937.54          0.22
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore          3235.2    3068.76         5.42
 Bangkok            1650.1    1563.88         5.51
 Manila             7913.71   7466.02         6.00
 Jakarta            6443.138  6194.498        4.01
 Kuala Lumpur       1685.98   1690.58         -0.27
 Ho Chi Minh        939.56    892.54          5.27
 
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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