SE Asia stocks edge higher in line with broader Asia

An investor looks at a screen showing stock board information at a securities company in Hanoi on July 6, 2018. (Reuters photo)

Southeast Asian stock markets closed marginally higher on Thursday, tracking a slight recovery in broader Asia and as upbeat economic data boosted sentiment.

Asian shares outside Japan climbed 0.4% as markets tried to consolidate from the previous session’s steep losses when fears of an escalation in the US-China trade war jolted investor sentiment.

“The US-China trade conflict has been gaining heavy headlines for some time now. So basically I think most of the investment negatives have been baked into the cake,” said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index gained 4.30 points or 0.26% to close at 1,640.93, in trade worth 46.97 billion baht. Thai shares rose for a fourth session in five, with Energy Absolute Plc climbing 5.6% and Siam Cement Plc gaining 0.5%.

Philippine shares ticked up and posted their highest close in more than three weeks with financials leading the gains. Ayala Corp rose 3% and Bank of the Philippine Islands climbed 2%.

Singapore shares advanced with casino operator Genting Singapore rising 3.3% and United Overseas Bank Ltd gaining 0.3%.

Malaysian shares rose 0.9% to their highest close in three weeks. Bankers CIMB Group Bhd closed 4.7% higher, while Malayan Banking Bhd gained nearly 4%.

Malaysia’s industrial production index rose 3% in May from a year earlier, supported by gains in the manufacturing and electricity generation sectors, government data showed.

Vietnam stocks closed 0.6% higher, snapping three consecutive sessions of declines and recovering from an eight-month low hit earlier in the session.

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