SE Asia Stocks-Most markets rise on trade deal hopes

By Sameer Manekar

* China says agreed with U.S. to cancel tariffs in phases * Philippines Q3 GDP growth better than forecast * Thailand leads gains with a 1% rise By Sameer Manekar Nov 7 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Thursday, with Thailand leading the pack with a 1% gain, after China said it agreed with the United States to cancel in phases the tariffs imposed on each others' goods. China's commerce ministry said Washington and Beijing must simultaneously cancel some duties on each others' goods for the two sides to reach a "phase one" trade deal. "The trade war started with tariffs, and should end with the cancellation of tariffs," Gao Feng, a commerce ministry spokesman, told reporters without specifying a timetable. "We have come from nowhere to tariff roll-back in just two weeks. This tells that someone is really motivated to put a deal together," said Stephen Innes, a market strategist at AxiTrader. "Also, U.S. President Donald Trump needs the S&P 500 to be over 3,100 ahead of elections next year, and what he needs is a trade deal." Thai stocks closed at their highest in more than one month, driven by buying in the last of couple of hours after subdued trading for most parts of the day. Energy and materials stocks were among the top gainers, with Thai Oil Pcl and PTT Global Chemical adding 5.1% each. Singapore shares posted their highest close in more than three months, lifted by financials and consumer firms. CapitaLand Ltd rose 1.9% and Wilmar International advanced 1.6%. Philippine shares gained 0.6%, rebounding from a more than 2% slump in the previous session, after data showed the archipelago's economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter, fuelled by buoyant government spending and domestic demand. Financial and consumer stocks were among the top gainers, with SM Prime Holdings adding 3.1%, while Robinsons Retail Holdings rose 1.6%. Meanwhile, Indonesian shares trimmed earlier losses to close 0.8% lower. Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday urged banks to help stimulate the economy with cuts in lending rates and loans to small and medium firms following feeble third-quarter growth data. If state-owned banks were to cut their rates, "it would drag the average lending rate, which would result in a drop in net interest margin (NIM), with no countervailing loan growth, due to tight liquidity", said Christine Natasya, an equity analyst at Mirae Asset Indonesia. "In this scenario, we would expect NIM deterioration to begin starting early 2020." Financial and communication stocks were among top losers. Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Permata finished lower by 3.9% and 12.3%, respectively, while state-owned Telekomunikasi Indonesia slipped 1.2%. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks fell 1%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3285.72 3262.69 0.71 Bangkok 1640.88 1623.99 1.04 Manila 8073.81 8025.88 0.60 Jakarta 6165.624 6217.545 -0.84 Kuala Lumpur 1609.33 1603.25 0.38 Ho Chi Minh 1024.03 1024.91 -0.09 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3285.72 3068.76 7.07 Bangkok 1640.88 1563.88 4.92 Manila 8073.81 7,466.02 8.14 Jakarta 6165.624 6,194.50 -0.47 Kuala Lumpur 1609.33 1690.58 -4.81 Ho Chi Minh 1024.03 892.54 14.73 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)