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Southeast Asia stocks: Singapore trims losses on trade optimism; Philippines falls most

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12/26/2019 | 05:23am EDT
A stockbroker looks at the electronic board inside the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in Makati city, metro Manila

Singaporean shares pared early losses and ended flat on Thursday, looking past a surprise fall in November manufacturing activity as lingering optimism around the "phase one" of U.S.-China trade deal raised hopes of a turnaround in the sector.

Meanwhile, the Philippine bourse led losses in the region weighed down by blue chip stocks, as trading in most Southeast Asian equity markets remained subdued on account of the year-end holidays.

Singapore's benchmark index recovered from its losses earlier in the session to finish nearly flat, shrugging off a 9.3% fall in its manufacturing activity in November from a year earlier, marking its biggest drop in four years.

"We are cautiously optimistic that global macro stabilization anchored by expected completion of the U.S.-China "Phase 1" trade deal could lead to improvement in global economic backdrop for next year, which could give Singapore's manufacturing and export sectors the necessary boost for 2020," UOB said in a note.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that there will be a signing ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal agreed to this month.

Industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings gained 0.9%, while Hongkong Land Holdings lost 0.9%.

The Philippine bourse trimmed its losses from earlier in the session to finish 0.4% lower.

Heavyweights Ayala Land and SM Investments Corp lost 1.8% and 2%, respectively, while Ayala Corp gained 2.7%.

The index had gained nearly 3% over its previous two trading sessions.

Thai stocks rose on the back of industrial and energy sectors, posting its second consecutive session of gains.

Heavyweights Airports of Thailand and PTT PCL were among the top performers, adding 1% and 0.6%, respectively.

Indonesian shares were lifted by gains in the consumer and financial firms, with Unilever Indonesia and Bank Central Asia rising 1.9% and 0.3%, respectively.

Malaysia's benchmark index edged lower, while Vietnam stocks lost 0.2%, dragged by heavy losses in financials.

By Sameer Manekar

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIRPORTS OF THAILAND -1.82% 54 End-of-day quote.-27.27%
AYALA CORPORATION 1.64% 744 End-of-day quote.-5.28%
AYALA LAND, INC. 3.08% 33.5 End-of-day quote.-26.37%
HONGKONG LAND HOLDINGS LIMITED -0.52% 3.81 End-of-day quote.-33.74%
JARDINE MATHESON HOLDINGS LIMITED 1.27% 43.03 End-of-day quote.-22.61%
LAND CO., LTD. -10.00% 9 End-of-day quote.-25.00%
LETS HOLDINGS GROUP CO., LTD. 0.89% 9.03 End-of-day quote.49.50%
LINE CORPORATION 0.00% 5360 End-of-day quote.0.19%
LOOK HOLDINGS INCORPORATED 6.89% 962 End-of-day quote.-23.16%
PT BANK CENTRAL ASIA TBK 0.35% 29000 End-of-day quote.-13.24%
PT UNILEVER INDONESIA TBK -1.26% 7850 End-of-day quote.-6.55%
PTT 0.00% 32.25 End-of-day quote.-26.70%
SM INVESTMENTS CORPORATION 2.61% 945 End-of-day quote.-9.40%
THE GLOBAL LTD. -3.54% 218 End-of-day quote.-53.72%
THE LEAD CO., INC. -2.30% 382 End-of-day quote.-2.05%
UNILEVER N.V. -1.13% 50.94 Delayed Quote.0.57%
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