Most SE Asian stocks gain; Singapore snaps 9-session losing streak

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BENGALURU (Aug 23): Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, led by financials, with Singapore snapping a nine-session losing streak and Philippines hitting a more than one-week high.

However, gains were capped ahead of manufacturing data from Europe and the United States later in the day, which will be closely watched to gauge whether the spectre of a global trade war is hurting economic activity.

US and Chinese officials met for the first time in more than two months on Wednesday to try find a way out of their deepening trade conflict, but there was no evidence that the low-key discussions would halt a new round of US tariffs due on Thursday.

Financials and telecom stocks pushed the Singapore index 1.4% higher, with lender DBS Group Holdings gaining more than 2% and Singapore Telecommunications, the biggest boost to the benchmark, jumping as much as 7.5%.

"The earnings season is over and a lot of banks have gone ex-dividend and that is a live catalyst," said Joel Ng, analyst at KGI Securities.

The city-state is set to release July inflation data later in the day.

Philippines shares rose nearly 2%, extending gains into a second session, led by industrial stocks.

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp jumped nearly 10% while shipping industry giant International Container Terminal Services gained nearly 4%.   

Malaysian shares rose to a near two-week high, in their fourth straight session of gains, with Axiata Group Bhd hitting an over two-month high and Public Bank Bhd adding 0.8%.

Malaysia's July inflation data will be released on Friday. It is expected to have risen to 0.9%, marginally faster than the previous month, a Reuters poll showed.

Indonesia was largely unchanged as gains in financials were offset by losses in consumer durables and telecom stocks. Bank Central Asia rose 1.3% while Perusahaan Gas Negara was up 5.7%.

An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.2%.

Vietnam stocks were up 0.3%.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0431GMT
Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3246.52   3199.89         1.46
Bangkok            1706.3    1698.3          0.47
Manila             7771.06   7632.26         1.82
Jakarta            5944.514  5944.301        0.00
Kuala Lumpur       1806.36   1798.11         0.46
Ho Chi Minh        984.69    982.15          0.26

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3246.52   3402.92         -4.60
Bangkok            1706.3    1753.71         -2.70
Manila             7771.06   8558.42         -9.20
Jakarta            5944.514  6355.654        -6.47
Kuala Lumpur       1806.36   1796.81         0.53
Ho Chi Minh        984.69    984.24          0.05