SE Asia Stocks-Gain as solid China data fuels risk appetite; Philippines up

By Anushka Trivedi

* Philippine shares see best session in two weeks * Malaysia's Axiata jumps on stake-sale talks report * Thai shares close at near two-month high By Anushka Trivedi Jan 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Friday, with Philippine shares leading the pack, as encouraging data from China whipped up risk appetite. China, Southeast Asia's largest trading partner, grew by 6% in the fourth quarter, in line with market expectations, suggesting the world's second-largest economy was stabilising. Data also showed that December's industrial output grew 6.9% from a year earlier, the strongest pace in nine months, while retail sales rose 8.0%. Fixed-asset investment for the full year jumped 5.4%. "The latest slew of economic data suggests that the global economy is stabilising and poised for a recovery amid de-escalating U.S.-China trade tensions," Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM, said in a note. "Such an environment should also offer emerging markets the chance to find a more stable footing and provide room for riskier assets to advance." Philippine shares climbed 0.9% in their best session in two weeks, with Jollibee Foods Corp topping the benchmark index. The main index shed 0.7% for the week. Earlier in the day, Jollibee Foods said it raised $600 million from its first ever bond sale, which was upsized from an original intended amount of $400 million due to strong demand. Malaysian equities advanced 0.5%, buoyed by telecoms, and posted a weekly gain of 0.3%. Axiata shares jumped 5.5% in their best session in more than eight months, after a report that Telenor ASA was in talks with Malaysia's sovereign fund, which could result in the Norwegian company buying a part of the fund's stake in Axiata. Thai shares scaled their highest in nearly two months, driven by financial and telecom stocks. Kasikornbank Pcl gained 2.5% and Advanced Info Service Pcl firmed 1.9%. Singapore shares were largely flat throughout the session, with telecoms weighing on the benchmark index. The city-state's exports posted a surprise rebound in December after nine months of contraction, partly boosted by a sharp rise in pharmaceutical shipments. However, economists said further declines in electronics exports did not yet indicate the recovery could be sustained. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3281.03 3278 0.09 Bangkok 1600.48 1595.87 0.29 Manila 7722.58 7653.18 0.91 Jakarta 6291.657 6286.048 0.09 Kuala Lumpur 1595.81 1587.88 0.50 Ho Chi Minh 978.96 974.31 0.48 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 3281.03 3222.83 1.81 Bangkok 1600.48 1579.84 1.31 Manila 7722.58 7,815.26 -1.19 Jakarta 6291.657 6,299.54 -0.13 Kuala Lumpur 1595.81 1588.76 0.44 Ho Chi Minh 978.96 960.99 1.87 (Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)