Most SE Asian stocks rise on China stimulus hopes

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BENGALURU (Jan 15): Most Southeast Asian stock markets recovered on Tuesday, with Singapore hitting a near three-and-a-half-month closing high, after China signalled more stimulus to prop up its slowing economy.

China's state planner said Beijing would strengthen monitoring of its economic situation and improve its "reserve" of economic policies, a day after the world's second-biggest economy released December trade data that showed the country had been hit hard by a tariff war with the United States.

The markets rebounded due to the prospect of China loosening its monetary policy and fiscal spending, said Liu Jinshu, director of research at NRA Capital.

"The rebound is stronger as shorts were reversed given yesterday's failure to trigger steeper declines," he added.

Singapore shares rose 1.2%, marking their seventh session of gains in eight, helped by financials and industrials.

CapitaLand Ltd climbed 3.3% to its highest close since Oct 4, 2018 after the company said on Monday it would buy logistics and industrial assets from state investor Temasek for a consideration of S$6 billion (US$4.44 billion).

Indonesian shares closed 1.2% higher, shrugging off a wider-than-expected December trade deficit.

Trade deficit narrowed in December, but it was wider than market expectations due to a fall in exports, data showed. Exports fell 4.62% last month, compared to a 1.81% rise predicted by a Reuters poll.

Meanwhile, a Reuters survey of 20 economists predict that Bank Indonesia will maintain its reverse repurchase rate at 6% at its first policy meeting of the new year on Thursday.

Vietnam shares rose 0.9%, buoyed by real estate and financial stocks. Vinhomes JSC firmed 3.4%, while Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam rose 1.9%.

Thai shares fell 0.4%, dragged by industrial and energy stocks. Airports of Thailand Pcl shed 2.6%, while PTT Pcl dipped 1%.     

Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3212.3    3173.46         1.22
Bangkok                1577      1582.57         -0.35
Manila                 8013.42   8024.14         -0.13
Jakarta                6408.784  6336.116        1.15
Kuala Lumpur           1679.42   1676.16         0.19
Ho Chi Minh            909.68    901.8           0.87

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3212.3    3068.76         4.68
Bangkok                1577      1563.88         0.84
Manila                 8013.42   7,466.02        7.33
Jakarta                6408.784  6,194.50        3.46
Kuala Lumpur           1679.42   1690.58         -0.66
Ho Chi Minh            909.68    892.54          1.92

(US$1 = 1.3515 Singapore dollars)