SE Asian stocks upbeat; Philippines scales fresh peak

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(Oct 13): Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday, drawing confidence from upbeat global investor sentiment, with the Philippines hitting a fresh high and Singapore underpinned by data showing faster-than-expected quarterly economic growth.

China's trade data showed growth in exports and imports accelerated in September, with imports beating expectations, underscoring resilience in the country's economy.

China's foreign trade will likely grow at a double-digit rate this year if current conditions continue, the customs bureau said.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2%, having gained 3.6% so far this month.

"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.

The Philippine index, which has had a record-setting streak this week, rose as much as 0.5% to an all-time high.

SM Prime Holdings Inc and SM Investments Corp hit record highs in the session, rising as much 2.1% and 1.3%, respectively.

Singapore shares rose as much as 0.5%, set to extend gains to a second straight session.

The city-state's central bank kept its monetary policy unchanged on Friday even as data showed that Singapore's trade-dependent economy grew more than expected in the third quarter.

"The markets are looking positive because of a combination of the better-than-expected GDP numbers and the central bank keeping its policy unchanged," Joel Ng added.

Keppel Corp Ltd was the biggest boost on the index, rising as much as 3.7% to its highest in over seven months.

The Jakarta stock index rose 0.2%, buoyed by financial and consumer stocks.

Fabric manufacturer Indo Kordsa Tbk PT jumped 25%, while Insurance provider Asuransi Jasa Tania Tbk PT surged nearly 16%.

Malaysian stocks were little changed, while Thailand was closed on Friday for a local holiday.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0324 GMT

Market            Current     Previous close  % move
Singapore         3318.52     3303.09         0.47
Manila            8443.41     8402.81         0.48
Jakarta           5939.531    5926.204        0.22
Kuala Lumpur      1753.44     1754            -0.03
Ho Chi Minh       818.53      815.87          0.33

Change on year

Market            Current     End 2016        % move
Singapore         3318.52     2880.76         15.20
Manila            8443.41     6840.64         23.4
Jakarta           5939.531    5296.711        12.14
Kuala Lumpur      1753.44     1641.73         6.80
Ho Chi Minh       818.53      664.87          23.1