* Upbeat data allays fears of global growth slowdown
* Singapore hits 9-1/2-month closing high
* Thai stocks post fourth straight session of gains
By Shreya Mariam Job
April 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
closed higher on Tuesday, in line with broader Asia, as positive
U.S. and China manufacturing activity data alleviated concerns
of a global growth slowdown amid signs of progress on the trade
U.S. manufacturing activity rebounded a bit more than
expected in March, while China's manufacturing sector
unexpectedly returned to growth for the first time in four
months in March.
Optimism stemming from the upbeat data boosted investor
confidence across the board, with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rising 0.2
percent, hitting a seven-month high after rallying more than 1
percent in the previous session.
Investors were also encouraged by recent trade developments.
China's State Council said the country would continue to suspend
additional tariffs on U.S. vehicles and auto parts after April 1
in a goodwill gesture following a U.S. decision to delay tariff
hikes on Chinese imports.
Stating that the markets were revelling in the silver
linings in China's PMI and U.S. ISM data, Vishnu Varathan, a
senior economist with Mizuho Bank said in a note, "The trouble
with silver linings is that the clouds have yet to lift, even if
bets mount on the sunshine behind."
Leading the gains in the regional market, Singapore stocks
jumped nearly 1 percent to their highest close since Aug.
10, 2018, bolstered by financials.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd rose 1.9 percent to hit its
highest close in more than six months, while Oversea-Chinese
Banking Corp Ltd added 1.3 percent.
Industrial and telecom stocks drove the Philippine index
0.5 percent higher, with SM Investments Corp up
1.7 percent and PLDT Inc gaining 2.3 percent.
Thai stocks posted their fourth consecutive session
of gains, boosted by consumer and financial shares. CP All Pcl
ended 0.7 percent stronger, while Kasikornbank Pcl
firmed 1.3 percent
Malaysian equities rebounded from previous session's
plunge to end 0.3 percent firmer, on the back of financial and
Malaysia's exports likely rose 1.4 percent in February from
a year earlier, slower than the previous month, a Reuters poll
showed. The data is expected on Thursday.
Shares of Public Bank Bhd and Maxis Bhd
firmed 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Vietnam stocks, the outliers in the region, shed
earlier gains to close in the red.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3279.78 3250.51 0.90
Bangkok 1651.48 1644.64 0.42
Manila 7879.21 7840.31 0.50
Jakarta 6476.066 6452.611 0.36
Kuala Lumpur 1632.83 1628.66 0.26
Ho Chi Minh 985.81 988.53 -0.28
Change so far in 2019
Market Current End 2018 Pct Move
Singapore 3279.78 3068.76 6.88
Bangkok 1651.48 1563.88 5.60
Manila 7879.21 7,466.02 5.53
Jakarta 6476.066 6,194.50 4.55
Kuala Lumpur 1632.83 1690.58 -3.42
Ho Chi Minh 985.81 892.54 10.45
(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry