BIZ-FINANCE: Thai, Philippine stock markets end higher

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index ended firmer and Philippine stocks closed higher on Wednesday, as market focus was largely attuned to tariff talks between the United States and China.

The SET index slightly gains on Wednesday. (Photo from

Asian shares ex-Japan were trading 0.2% higher after the benchmark S&P 500 touched a record high in the previous session, buoyed by strong earnings in the consumer sector.

The two-day meeting is the first formal US-China trade talks since US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese economic adviser Liu He in Beijing in June. The trade talks were expected to open on Wednesday under the cloud of a prediction by US President Donald Trump that there would be no real progress.

The SET index recovered from previous session’s losses to earn 3.67 points or 0.22%, in turnover worth only 38 billion baht.

Gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production Plc gained 2.6% firmer, while Thai Oil Plc added nearly 3% to the index.

Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports in July grew slightly from the previous month, data from the Commerce Ministry showed on Wednesday. However, the exports’ growth rate fell short of expectations.

Philippine shares were boosted by real estate stocks with Ayala Land ending 2.1% higher. Property developer SM Prime Holdings, one of the biggest gainers on the bourse, partially confirmed a media article about its three-year expansion plans.

“It’s the sentiment due to positive overnight indicators such as (record gains on) the Wall Street and that emerging markets, in general, looked positive,” said Fio Dejesus, equity research analyst, RCBC Securities.

Vietnam shares ended steady on the back of gains in utility and real estate stocks.

Meanwhile, financial markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were closed for holidays.

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