SE Asian stocks rise on US-Mexico trade deal; Singapore gains 1%

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BENGALURU (Aug 28): Southeast Asian stock markets edged higher on Tuesday as concerns over global trade war eased after the United States and Mexico made a deal to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Investors expect Canada too would agree to the new terms to preserve the three-nation pact, ultimately dispelling the economic uncertainty prompted by US President Donald Trump's repeated threats to ditch the 1994 NAFTA accord.

"The big deal is going to be US and China and while I think there's still a bit of euphoria going on about the prospect of NAFTA going through, it's being perceived as a bit of a stretch that China risk is all but eliminated, and I think that's sort of holding things back," said Stephen Innes, head of trading, Asia Pacific, at Oanda

Singapore shares rose 1% to a two-week high, helped by financials. DBS Group Holdings was the biggest boost to the benchmark index with a gain of about 2%.

"I think today it's actually playing up its (Singapore) stronger relation with the mainland market. The mainland markets are getting flooded with a lot of cash right now, and I think that's why we're seeing some opportunistic buying, some bartering and certainly some bargain-hunting take place," said Innes.

Financials and industrials helped Philippine shares climb 1% to a near three-week high.

Blue chip SM Investments Corp rose over 3%, while BDO Unibank gained 1.3%.

Indonesian shares rose for a fifth session in six, led by telecom stocks with Telekomunikasi Indonesia climbing nearly 3%. Astra International was the biggest drag, declining about 2%.

Malaysian shares climbed to three-month top, helped by financials and materials. Petronas Chemicals Group advanced 2.2% and CIMB Group Holdings gained 0.5%.

Thai shares rose for a second straight session, aided by energy stocks, ahead of July manufacturing data. PTT and PTT Exploration and Production added about 1% each.

Annual manufacturing output in July is expected to have risen at a slightly slower pace than in the previous month, a Reuters poll showed.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0350GMT
Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3259.49   3225.62         1.05
Bangkok            1724.33   1717.24         0.41
Manila             7843.04   7766.47         0.99
Jakarta            6042.982  6025.968        0.28
Kuala Lumpur       1820.68   1811.6          0.50
Ho Chi Minh        992.44    991.92          0.05

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3259.49   3402.92         -4.21
Bangkok            1724.33   1753.71         -1.68
Manila             7843.04   8558.42         -8.36
Jakarta            6042.982  6355.654        -4.92
Kuala Lumpur       1820.68   1796.81         1.33
Ho Chi Minh        992.44    984.24          0.83