SE Asian stocks rise on US rate-cut hopes; Indonesia leads

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BENGALURU (June 10): Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday, with Indonesia leading the pack, as weak US jobs data bolstered expectations of a Fed rate cut that could encourage policy easing by regional central banks.

US job growth slowed sharply in May and wages rose less than expected, raising fears that a loss of momentum in economic activity could be spreading to the labor market.

"The movement was driven by the news of the tariffs not being implemented against Mexico. Markets have generally been oversold over the last one month. Expectations of a rate cut going forward is also providing some level of support to the market," said Joel Ng, analyst with KGI Securities.

The United States and Mexico struck a deal on Friday to avert a tariff war, easing fears of yet another trade conflict.

Meanwhile, China's exports unexpectedly returned to growth in May despite higher US tariffs, but imports fell 8.5% in a further sign of weak domestic demand that could prompt Beijing to step up stimulus measures.

Broader Asia also saw an uptick with MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rising 0.7%

Indonesian shares rose as much as 2.02% underpinned by gains in financials as the market reopened after a holiday week and ahead of the country's May inflation data.

Indonesia's annual inflation rate is seen accelerating in May from a month earlier amid Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr celebration with annual consumer price index (CPI) forecast to rise 3.17%.

Bank Central Asia Tbk Pt and Astra International Tbk Pt gained 3.7% and 2%, respectively.

An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks jumped 2%.

Singapore stocks gained 1% led by financials and real estate stocks.

City Developments Ltd rose as much as 6.1%, its biggest intraday percentage gain in over two years, following a fresh bid for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Plc.  

Millennium & Copthorne has agreed to be acquired by City Developments in a deal that values the British company at 2.23 billion pounds (US$2.84 billion).

DBS Holdings Group Ltd gained 1.4%.

Thai stocks gained 0.7% with energy and material stocks buoying the index. PTT Exploration and Production PCL rose 2%.

Financial and real estate stocks pushed the Vietnam index 0.6% higher. Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam and Vingroup JSC advanced 1.5% and 0.7%, respectively.

Philippine stocks rose marginally.

Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3196.97   3166.29         0.97
Bangkok                1664.6    1653.5          0.67
Manila                 7988.64   7983.98         0.06
Jakarta                6309.824  6209.117        1.62
Kuala Lumpur           1655.04   1649.33         0.35
Ho Chi Minh            963.79    958.28          0.57

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3196.97   3068.76         4.18
Bangkok                1664.6    1563.88         6.44
Manila                 7988.64   7,466.02        7.00
Jakarta                6309.824  6,194.50        1.86
Kuala Lumpur           1655.04   1690.58         -2.10
Ho Chi Minh            963.79    892.54          7.98