SE Asian stocks rise on upbeat China data; Philippines closes at record high

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(Oct 13): Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Friday, with the Philippines closing at a record level, as robust Chinese trade data boosted investor sentiment across the region.

Customs data showed China's import and export growth accelerated in September, suggesting the world's second-biggest economy is still expanding at a healthy pace despite widespread forecasts of an eventual slowdown.

"The Chinese trade data has had a positive impact on markets, key countries in Asia are now major trading partners with China," said Joel Ng, an analyst with Singapore-based KGI Securities.

Investors now await US inflation data due later in the day and China's 19th Communist Party Congress for cues about the global economy.

China's Communist Party opened a meeting earlier this week to make final preparations for a key party congress that begins on Oct 18. The party's constitution will be amended at the end of the Congress.

Philippine shares rose half a percent to their highest ever close, helped mostly by financials.

BDO Unibank Inc jumped 3.3% to close at an all-time high, while Security Bank Corp climbed 3.1% to its highest close in over eight weeks.

For the week, the Philippine stock index added 1.7% in its second straight weekly gain.

Singapore shares rose for a second straight session and closed at their highest in 10 weeks, on better-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and the central bank's decision to keep its monetary policy unchanged.

Keppel Corp Ltd was the biggest boost, ending the day 4.1% higher, while City Developments Ltd closed at its highest in 10 months.

Malaysian shares inched up, helped by utility stocks, but closed 0.5% lower this week.

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd rose 0.5% on Friday, while Tenaga Nasional Bhd climbed 0.6%.

Vietnam equities rose 0.6% to their highest close in more than nine-and-a-half years. For the week, they gained 1.6%.

Indonesia closed slightly lower, while Thailand was closed for a local holiday.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on day

Market             Current     Previous close   % move
Singapore          3319.11     3303.09          0.49
Manila             8447.94     8402.81          0.54
Jakarta            5924.124    5926.204         -0.04
Kuala Lumpur       1755.32     1754             0.08
Ho Chi Minh        820.95      815.87           0.62

Change on year

Market             Current     End 2016         % move
Singapore          3319.11     2880.76          15.22
Manila             8447.94     6840.64          23.5
Jakarta            5924.124    5296.711         11.85
Kuala Lumpur       1755.32     1641.73          6.92
Ho Chi Minh        820.95      664.87           23.5