SE Asian stocks rise on optimism from Sino-US trade talks

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(Feb 1): Southeast Asian stocks rose on Friday as the latest round of Sino-US trade talks ended on a positive note, with President Donald Trump saying he was optimistic that the two nations could reach "the biggest deal ever made."

Philippine shares climbed the most in the region, rising as much as 1.3% on broad-based gains.

Index heavyweights SM Investment Corp and BDO Unibank added as much as 0.9% and 2.6%, respectively.

Trump said on Thursday he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping soon to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal. However, no specific plans for the meeting were announced. The latest round of talks also helped offset a private survey data that showed China's January factory activity shrank the most in almost three years.

Most other markets in the region were in an upbeat mood, with Indonesian shares rising as much as 0.8% after data showed the country's annual consumer inflation in January slowed more than expected.

Financial stocks dominated gains on the Jakarta index, with both Bank Central Asia and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) hitting record highs.

"The high-level China-US trade talks did not result in any negative headlines. Expectations for a sweeping deal were low to begin with and the market is probably relieved that trade tensions are no longer escalating," said DBS Group Research in a client note.

"That said, the 1st March deadline (where the United States would slap even more tariffs on Chinese imports) looms. If a deal is not struck by then, there would be a dent on sentiment," DBS Group Research added.    

Thai shares were up as much as 0.3% ahead of inflation data slated to release later in the day.

A Reuters poll showed Thai annual headline inflation rate in January may have slowed from the previous month and stayed below the central bank's target range for a third straight month.

Index heavyweights PTT and PTT Exploration and Production climbed as much as 1% and 0.4%, respectively.

Elsewhere, Singapore and Vietnam shares were nearly flat.

Malaysian stock market was closed for Federal Territory Day.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0316 GMT

Market                 Current  Previous close  % move
Singapore              3191.94  3190.17         0.06
Bangkok                1646.14  1641.73         0.27
Manila                 8111.9   8007.48         1.30
Jakarta                6555.79  6532.969        0.35
Ho Chi Minh            911.25   910.65          0.07

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current  End 2018        % move
Singapore              3191.94  3068.76         4.01
Bangkok                1646.14  1563.88         5.26
Manila                 8111.9   7,466.02        8.65
Jakarta                6555.79  6,194.50        5.83
Kuala Lumpur           1683.53  1690.58         -0.42
Ho Chi Minh            911.25   892.54          2.10