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Southeast Asia stocks - Gain on Sino-U.S. trade deal hopes; China data disappoints

10/14/2019 | 05:55am EST
A man looks on in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing

(Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks finished in the black on Monday, riding the optimism surrounding the Sino-U.S. trade talks, while weak data from China, the region's largest trading partner, capped further gains.

China's September exports fell more than expected, while imports contracted for the fifth straight month. September had seen an escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute, with both sides levying additional tariffs on imports from the other country.

Meanwhile, sentiment was buoyed by progress on the trade talk front after U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday outlined the first phase of a trade deal with China, as well as suspended a tariff hike scheduled to be imposed from Oct. 15.

This raised hopes of an end to the trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies that has resulted in slowing global economic growth.

However, Trump said it could take up to five weeks to get a pact written, acknowledging that the agreement could fall apart during that period.

"It feels like investors remain somewhat disappointed by the limited nature of the U.S.-China trade deal but remain optimistic that phase 2 and 3 will come to fruition," Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific Market Strategist at AxiTrader said in a note.

Malaysian stocks <.KLSE> were the top gainers in the index, seeing their best day in over six weeks.

The Malaysian government announced a smaller-than-expected budget for 2020 and forecast a wider deficit target, however, it promised stimulus measures should global demand worsen.

Food processing firm Sime Darby Plantation saw its best day in over nine weeks, gaining 3.9% in its second consecutive session of gains.

Philippines benchmark index <.PSI> posted its third consecutive gain, finishing at an over two-week high.Real estate firms were among the top gainers, with index heavyweight Ayala Corp advancing 0.9%.

Singapore's Straits Times index <.STI> gained 0.3% after the central bank eased its monetary policy for the first time in three years.

The decision from Monetary Authority of Singapore came along with data which showed that the city-state's bellwether economy grew less than expected in the third quarter. Growth in the economy was hurt by a prolonged tariff dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

Thai Beverage PCL, the biggest gainer in the index, climbed 2.3% to its best session in a week.

Indonesian stocks <.JKSE> pared early gains to finish 0.4% up, with consumer staples and financials leading the gains. Animal feeds manufacturer Charoen Pokphand Indonesia and PT Bank Central Asia gained 4.3% and 1.2%, respectively.

Thailand markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru, Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

By Sameer Manekar

© Reuters 2019
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMP LIMITED 0.64% 1.565 End-of-day quote.0.32%
AYALA CORPORATION 0.00% 795 End-of-day quote.-3.87%
BEST INC. 12.50% 2.43 Delayed Quote.5.88%
LINE CORPORATION 0.00% 5350 End-of-day quote.0.00%
PT BANK CENTRAL ASIA TBK -0.28% 35375 End-of-day quote.4.51%
PT CHAROEN POKPHAND INDONESIA TBK -0.78% 6350 End-of-day quote.-2.68%
SIME DARBY PLANTATION -0.80% 4.98 End-of-day quote.-0.20%
THAI BEVERAGE 1.25% 0.81 End-of-day quote.10.20%
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