SE Asian stocks rise; Philippines jumps over 2%

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BENGALURU (Aug 23): Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday with the Philippines jumping over 2% on foreign investor buying, while Singapore snapped nine straight sessions of falls on the back of gains in financial and telecom shares.

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 global trade wars had any impact on economic activity.

Meanwhile, the United States and China enacted 25% tariffs on US$16 billion worth of the other's goods, in the latest escalation of trade war between the world's top two economies.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore shares rose 1.6% to a near two-week closing high. Blue chip Singapore Telecommunications Ltd climbed 6.5% to a near one-month closing high, while lender DBS Group Holdings added 2.2%.

Singapore's core consumer price index rose at its fastest pace in nearly four years in July in year-on-year terms, due to higher electricity and gas costs, official data showed.

Real estate and industrial stocks helped Philippine shares post a near two-week closing high.

Blue chip SM Prime Holdings led gains with a rise of 3.8%, while JG Summit Holdings climbed 5.8%.

Foreign investors bought Philippine equities worth a net US$9.6 million on Thursday, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.

Financial and telecom stocks helped Malaysian shares climb 0.7% to their highest close in three months ahead of July inflation data due on Friday.

Axiata Group ended nearly 3% higher, while Public Bank Bhd rose 2.6%.

The annual inflation rate is expected to have risen to 0.9% in July, marginally faster than the previous month, a Reuters poll showed.

Indonesian shares climbed for a third straight session and posted a near two-week closing high, helped by financials.

Bank Central Asia rose 2.9%, while Bank Rakyat Indonesia added 3.8%.

Thai shares rose for a fifth session in six and posted their highest close in nearly two weeks, helped by energy stocks.

Oil and gas producer PTT was one of the biggest boost with a gain of 0.5%, while PTT Exploration and Production rose over 1%.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3249.89   3199.89         1.56
Bangkok            1704.8    1698.3          0.38
Manila             7804.03   7632.26         2.25
Jakarta            5982.985  5944.301        0.65
Kuala Lumpur       1810.87   1798.11         0.71
Ho Chi Minh        987.36    982.15          0.53

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3249.89   3402.92         -4.50
Bangkok            1704.8    1753.71         -2.79
Manila             7804.03   8558.42         -8.81
Jakarta            5982.985  6355.654        -5.86
Kuala Lumpur       1810.87   1796.81         0.78
Ho Chi Minh        987.36    984.24          0.32