Philippines climbs most, Indonesia sheds early gains

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(Feb 1): Philippine shares rose 1.7% on Friday, helped by foreign investor buying and as the latest round of Sino-US trade talks kept hopes of a comprehensive trade deal alive, while Indonesian stocks shed earlier gains to close nearly flat.

The latest round of Sino-US trade talks ended on a positive note, with US President Donald Trump saying he was optimistic that the two nations could reach "the biggest deal ever made."

The benchmark Philippine stock index was the biggest gainer in the region, boosted by financials and industrials. BDO Unibank climbed 3.7% and SM Investment Corp added 2.5%. Philippine shares advanced 1.1% this week in their fifth consecutive weekly gain.

"Foreign buying in the Philippines has been consistent over the last few weeks, and for today the biggest driver would be foreign inflows towards emerging markets," said Charles William Ang, an analyst with COL Financial Group.

Foreign investors bought net 1.02 billion pesos (US$19.54 million) worth shares on Friday and 5.75 billion pesos this week, according to Refinitiv data.

Investors now await January inflation data and the central bank's monetary policy review due next week. Inflation had cooled more than expected in December, reinforcing views that the central bank is done raising interest rates.

Thai shares rose 0.6% on Friday, after data showed January's headline inflation rate was below the central bank's target range of 1-4% for a third straight month.

The central bank will review borrowing rates next week. The central bank governor had said in January that the country's accommodative monetary policy is still needed to support the economy.

PTT gained 2%, while Airports of Thailand climbed 1.5%.

Indonesian shares closed 0.1% higher after rising as much as 0.8% earlier, as losses in telecom stocks offset gains in financials. Indonesian shares gained 0.9% for the week, marking their sixth straight weekly rise.

Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) rose 1.8% to close at a record high, while Charoen Pokphand Indonesia jumped 4.4%.

Indonesia's annual consumer inflation in January slowed more than expected, data from the statistics bureau showed.

The Malaysian stock market was closed for a holiday.

(US$1 = 52.2100 Philippine pesos)

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3188.68   3190.17         -0.05
Bangkok                1651.4    1641.73         0.59
Manila                 8144.16   8007.48         1.71
Jakarta                6538.638  6532.969        0.09
Ho Chi Minh            908.67    910.65          -0.22

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3188.68   3068.76         3.91
Bangkok                1651.4    1563.88         5.60
Manila                 8144.16   7,466.02        9.08
Jakarta                6538.638  6,194.50        5.56
Kuala Lumpur           1683.53   1690.58         -0.42
Ho Chi Minh            908.67    892.54          1.81