SE Asian markets track Asian peers to end higher; Philippines leads gains

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BENGALURU (Oct 16): Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Wednesday, in line with Asian peers, as strong US corporate earnings helped soothe concerns about a global slowdown, while a potential breakthrough in Brexit deal negotiations also aided sentiment.

Major US banks such as JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo posted strong results on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, officials involved in Brexit deal negotiations said that differences over the terms of the split had narrowed significantly.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4%.

"Markets are being driven by pent-up demand after several weeks of jockeying between US and China prior to last week's talks," Liu Jinshu, director of research at NRA Capital said.

"In the longer term, existing tariffs will continue to drag on growth and cloud outlook."

Leading gains in the region, Philippine stocks rose 1% to its highest level in nearly four weeks.

Real estate and financial stocks were among the top performers, with SM Prime Holdings rising 1.4%, while Bank of the Philippine Islands advanced 1% on the back of strong third-quarter results.

Singapore stocks hit over a two-week high due to gains in industrials and financials firms.

Industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings and airport operator SATS Ltd strengthened 2.5% and 2.9%, respectively.

Investors will now turn to the release of non-oil exports data for Singapore on Thursday. The city-state, like other trade-reliant Asian economies, has been hit hard by a prolonged US-China tariff dispute and a downturn in the electronics sector.

Meanwhile, the Thai benchmark index posted a third straight day of gains, boosted by utilities and industrials.

Electricity producer Global Power Synergy rose 4.3%. Airports of Thailand climbed 2% to its highest in over 21 months.

Malaysian stocks advanced 0.6%, buoyed by financial and telecommunication sectors, with Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Digi.Com Bhd adding 1.8% and 1.7%, respectively.

Indonesian stocks ended 0.2% higher after swinging between positive and negative territory, while Vietnam stocks edged higher.  

Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3134.71   3116.17         0.59
Bangkok                1634.46   1627.01         0.46
Manila                 7915.3    7840.31         0.96
Jakarta                6169.592  6158.166        0.19
Kuala Lumpur           1574.9    1566.23         0.55
Ho Chi Minh            994.46    993.05          0.14

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3134.71   3068.76         2.15
Bangkok                1634.46   1563.88         4.51
Manila                 7915.3    7,466.02        6.02
Jakarta                6169.592  6,194.50        -0.40
Kuala Lumpur           1574.9    1690.58         -6.84
Ho Chi Minh            994.46    892.54          11.42