SE Asia Stocks-Singapore, Thailand rise on stimulus hopes; Philippines drops

By Arundhati Dutta

* Philippines closes at 4-week low, down 0.7% * Singapore exports shrink for eight straight month in October * Thailand expands at slowest quarterly pace in a year in Q3 By Arundhati Dutta Nov 18 (Reuters) - Singapore and Thailand markets rose on Monday on hopes of stimulus measures following weak data from both countries, while other regions were mixed amid lack of concrete evidence on the progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks. Data on Monday showed Singapore's exports shrank for the eighth straight month in October, with the country's important electronic shipments steeply falling amid the trade dispute. However, markets took the data as a sign that some measures could follow soon. "We expect additional fiscal impetus in the upcoming budget," DBS said in a note. "Instead of a short-term stimulus package, the government will more likely roll out a robust fiscal budget early next year." The index advanced 0.5%, with shipbuilder Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings) rising 8% and real estate operator City Developments Ltd adding 2.5%. Further aiding sentiment, China's central bank cut rates on seven-day reverse repurchase agreements for the first time since 2015, fuelling speculation about further rate cuts from Southeast Asia's biggest trading partner. The Thai benchmark climbed 0.4% after the country's economy expanded at its slowest quarterly pace in a year, stirring expectations that the slower-than-expected GDP growth would open the doors for more fiscal stimulus. Malaysian equities added 0.6%, with hospital operator IHH Healthcare rising 4% and mobile services provider Digi.com gaining 3.2%. Other markets in the region edged down as investors awaited real evidence on U.S.-China trade deal negotiations, and as rising political unrest in Hong Kong hurt risk sentiment. Chinese state media said that the two countries had "constructive talks" on trade over the weekend, but neither side gave details on the timing of a possible deal. Vietnam Philippines shares dropped 0.7% each. The Philippine index closed at its weakest level in over four weeks. Weighing on the index were conglomerate Ayala Corp which lost 0.8%, and Bank of Philippine Islands which skid 0.5%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3258.66 3238.86 0.61 Bangkok 1608 1602.23 0.36 Manila 7880.94 7932.96 -0.66 Jakarta 6122.625 6128.345 -0.09 Kuala Lumpur 1604.36 1594.75 0.60 Ho Chi Minh 1002.91 1010.03 -0.70 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3258.66 3068.76 6.19 Bangkok 1608 1563.88 2.82 Manila 7880.94 7,466.02 5.56 Jakarta 6122.625 6,194.50 -1.16 Kuala Lumpur 1604.36 1690.58 -5.10 Ho Chi Minh 1002.91 892.54 12.37 (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta; editing by Uttaresh.V)