Much of South­east Asia gains as Trump’s trip boosts hopes of bet­ter US ties

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MOST South­east Asian stock mar­kets firmed on Mon­day, with Viet­nam hit­ting a fresh near-decade high, as US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s on­go­ing Asia tour boosted prospects of bet­ter ties be­tween Wash­ing­ton and the re­gion.

MOST South­east Asian stock mar­kets firmed on Mon­day, with Viet­nam hit­ting a fresh near-decade high, as US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s on­go­ing Asia tour boosted prospects of bet­ter ties be­tween Wash­ing­ton and the re­gion.

Dur­ing a bi­lat­eral visit to Viet­nam, Trump of­fered to me­di­ate in the dis­pute over the South China Sea, where four South­east Asian coun­tries and Tai­wan con­test China’s sweep­ing claims to the busy wa­ter­way.

“The South­east Asian eq­uity mar­kets are up by the con­fi­dence brought about by the ASEAN con­fer­ence which should boost eco­nomic ties in the Philip­pines and other na­tions with the US, Canada and Aus­tralia,” said Manny Cruz, an an­a­lyst at the Mani­l­abased Asi­asec Eq­ui­ties, Inc.

Lead­ers from China, the United States and seven other na­tions are join­ing the 10-mem­ber As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) at their an­nual sum­mit in Manila.

The sheer length of the trip — the long­est to Asia by a US pres­i­dent in more than a quar­ter cen­tury — may re­as­sure some that, de­spite Mr. Trump’s “Amer­ica First” pol­icy, Wash­ing­ton re­mains com­mit­ted to a re­gion China sees as its strate­gic do­main.

Viet­nam shares surged as much as one per­cent to hit their high­est since Jan­uary 2008, boosted by the con­sumer sta­ples sec­tor.

Viet­nam Dairy Prod­ucts Joint Stock Co. ad­vanced 3.70% to hit a record high.

Philip­pine shares ini­tially rose by 0.40%, led by real es­tate and in­dus­tri­als, with SM Prime Hold­ings up 1.20% and JG Sum­mit Hold­ings 0.60% higher. The Philip­pine Stock Ex­change in­dex ended the day down 1.22% to 8,330.02.

Sin­ga­pore shares edged up 0.10%, largely boosted by in­dus­tri­als, with Kep­pel Corp Ltd gain­ing 2% to hit its high­est in over two years.

In­done­sian shares rose 0.30%, boosted by con­sumer sta­ples and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices sec­tors. Cig­a­rette maker Gu­dang Garam Tbk gained 2.80% to an over three-month high, while Perusa­haan Perseroan (Persero) PT Teleko­mu­nikasi In­done­sia Tbk rose one per­cent. The in­dex of the coun­try’s 45 most liq­uid stocks inched 0.30% higher.

The Malaysian in­dex gained 0.10%, with oil and gas re­tailer Petronas Da­gan­gan Ber­had up 7.30%.

Oil prices edged up on Mon­day amid on­go­ing ten­sions in the Mid­dle East.

Mean­while, Thai shares dipped marginally, ow­ing to losses in the fi­nan­cials and util­i­ties sec­tor. —

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