SE Asian stocks bounce back; Indonesia gains 1.8%

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BENGALURU (July 4): Southeast Asian stock markets bounced back from early falls on Wednesday as investors sought bargains following recent losses fuelled by escalating fears of a Sino-US trade war.

Indonesian shares snapped two consecutive sessions of decline and closed 1.8% higher after declining 1.4% to a 15-month low earlier in the session.

Financials were the top contributors with Bank Central Asia rising 3% and Unilever Indonesia gaining 4%.

Indonesia plans to review the import of capital goods for big government projects to help manage its current account deficit, the finance minister said on Tuesday, part of a series of coordinated policy measures to bolster its financial markets.

Philippine shares recouped early losses to close over 1% higher, extending gains into a fourth session.

Real estate and industrial stocks were the top boosts with SM Prime Holdings and SM Investments Corp rising 2.8% and 1.1%, respectively.

Investors now await annual inflation data due on Thursday for further cues. Inflation likely quickened for a sixth straight month in June, a Reuters poll showed, leaving the door open for a third interest rate hike this year.

"The Philippines has entered bear territory, and valuations have already gone down below five- and 10-year historical averages. We are beginning to see some foreign (players) take advantages of market valuations given that we are significantly off the highs. So, some bargain hunting is also happening," said Lexter Azurin, an analyst with AB Capital Securities.

Foreign investors bought Philippine equities worth 449.8 million pesos (US$8.43 million) on Wednesday, stock exchange data showed.

Financials helped Singapore shares rise 0.3% after declining in the previous two sessions. United Overseas Bank closed 1.6% higher.

Meanwhile, the central bank chief warned that risks to the global growth outlook have increased significantly, due to an intensifying international trade row and the rising prospect of a rapid acceleration in inflation.

Vietnam shares rose 1%, helped by real estate stocks, after shedding more than 4% in the previous session.

Vinhomes JSC jumped about 7%, while Vingroup JSC closed 5.3% higher.

Thai stocks rose for a third consecutive session to a one-week high. Financial and telecom stocks helped the benchmark index gain with Airports of Thailand climbing over 1%.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3244.89   3235.9          0.28
Bangkok            1629.2    1626.62         0.16
Manila             7348.42   7267.34         1.12
Jakarta            5733.639  5633.937        1.77
Kuala Lumpur       1688.45   1680.37         0.48
Ho Chi Minh        914.99    906.01          0.99

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3244.89   3402.92         -4.64
Bangkok            1629.2    1753.71         -7.10
Manila             7348.42   8558.42         -14.14
Jakarta            5733.639  6355.654        -9.79
Kuala Lumpur       1688.45   1796.81         -6.03
Ho Chi Minh        914.99    984.24          -7.04