May 6, 2020 / 5:00 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore gains; Philippines falls on profit-taking, poor exports

    * Philippines exports shrink sharply in March 
    * Singapore rises 1%
    * Thai markets closed for holiday

    By Pranav A K
    May 6 (Reuters) - Singapore shares gained the most in
Southeast Asia on Wednesday, supported by the industrial sector,
while Philippine stocks dropped more than 1% on profit-taking
and dismal exports data. 
    Financial markets around the world have been caught this
month between grim economic figures and worries about worsening
U.S.-China relations, and optimism over easing COVID-19
lockdowns in many countries.   
    "Further developments with regards U.S.-China trade tensions
should not be ruled out in light of the closing in of the U.S.
elections," said Jingyi Pan, a Singapore-based market strategist
with financial services firm IG.
    "The latest COVID-19 implications had also challenged
China's ability to meet the trade deal commitments." 
    Philippine stocks fell up to 1.4%, dragged down by a
3.9% drop in shares of conglomerate Ayala Corp.
    Investors are taking profits from Ayala Corp, Ayala
Land and Metro Pacific Investments as they
gained sharply on Tuesday after President Rodrigo Duterte
apologised to their owners, said Frances Nicole L. Samorano, a
research analyst at RCBC Securities.
    Sentiment was also pressured by data that showed both the
country's exports and imports contracted sharply in
    The Indonesian benchmark slipped 0.6% as the
country's consumer confidence index plunged to its lowest level
in 12 years in April.
    Southeast Asia’s largest economy grew at its weakest pace
since 2001 in the first quarter, statistics bureau data showed
on Tuesday, as the coronavirus pandemic halted business activity
and fuelled fears of recession.
    Singapore's index rose 1.1%, with the city-state's
flag carrier Singapore Airlines soaring 14.1%, while
index heavyweight Jardine Strategic Holdings firmed
    Malaysian shares advanced 0.3%, helped by Petronas
Dagangan and Malayan Banking, which rose
1.4% and 0.9%, respectively.
    Markets in Thailand were closed for a holiday.  
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 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              2605.79   2572.36         1.30
 Manila                 5625.75   5671.67         -0.81
 Jakarta                4606.777  4630.133        -0.50
 Kuala Lumpur           1391.48   1389.55         0.14
 Ho Chi Minh            766.39    764.16          0.29
 Change so far in 2020                            
 Market                 Current   End 2019        Pct Move
 Singapore              2605.79   3222.83         -19.15
 Manila                 5625.75   7,815.26        -28.02
 Jakarta                4606.777  6,299.54        -26.87
 Kuala Lumpur           1391.48   1588.76         -12.42
 Ho Chi Minh            766.39    960.99          -20.25

 (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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