Philippines rises about 1%; others subdued on slowdown, trade worries

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BENGALURU (April 10): Philippine stocks rose nearly 1% on Wednesday to a more than two-week high, while other Southeast Asian markets were subdued as another downgrade to global economic growth by the International Monetary Fund and a US threat to slap tariffs on hundreds of European goods dampened investor sentiment.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to impose tariffs on US$11 billion worth of European Union products, heightening tensions over a long-running transatlantic aircraft subsidy dispute and opening a new front in his global trade war.

Meanwhile, in its third downgrade since October, the International Monetary Fund said the global economy will likely grow 3.3% this year, the slowest expansion since 2016.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3%, a day after it hit its highest since Aug 1.

Philippine shares extended gains into a third session, boosted by industrials and real estate stocks.

"It (the gain) might be related to the updated timetable to the passing of the budget. According to government officials, they expect that the president will sign the budget before the holy week holiday (next week)," said Fio Dejusus, an equity research analyst with RCBC Securities.

SM Investment Corp firmed 1.7%, while Bank of the Philippine Islands added 1.9%.

The Philippine stock market was closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Indonesian shares declined slightly with losses concentrated in telecom and financial stocks.

Separately, China's government is to cap coal imports this year at 2018 levels, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, to support domestic producers.

Indonesia is the world's largest exporter of thermal coal and the biggest supplier to China, with the world's second-largest economy importing 21.2 million tonnes of Indonesian coal in the January-February period.

Shares of coal miners Dwi Guna Laksana Tbk PT and SMR Utama Tbk Pt dropped as much as 4.3% and 2.7%, respectively.

Vietnam shares fell for a second straight session, hurt by financial and real estate stocks.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0341 GMT
Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3325.96   3325.6          0.01
Bangkok                1662.86   1657.74         0.31
Manila                 7987.54   7915.63         0.91
Jakarta                6467.799  6484.348        -0.26
Kuala Lumpur           1637.12   1641.94         -0.29
Ho Chi Minh            984.72    988.48          -0.38

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3325.96   3068.76         8.38
Bangkok                1662.86   1563.88         6.33
Manila                 7987.54   7,466.02        6.99
Jakarta                6467.799  6,194.50        4.41
Kuala Lumpur           1637.12   1690.58         -3.16
Ho Chi Minh            984.72    892.54          10.33