SE Asia Stocks end firmer; Vietnam gains 2.9 percent

By Reuters   November 1, 2018 | 10:10 am GMT+7
SE Asia Stocks end firmer; Vietnam gains 2.9 percent
People drive past the Hanoi Stock Exchange building in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters
Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Wednesday tracking a firm finish on Wall Street, though they posted heavy losses in October.

Financial markets across the globe faced a raft of negative factors, including Sino-U.S. trade tensions, to worries about global economic growth, higher U.S. interest rates and company earnings in the past few weeks.

In Southeast Asia, Singaporean shares ended 1.8 percent firmer, but lost 7.3 percent this month. 

Conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd closed up 0.9 percent, while lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd added 2.9 percent to the bourse. 

Vietnam shares snapped nine sessions of declines to close 2.9 percent higher.

Banking sector stocks accounted for most gains, with Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) closing 6.9 percent higher. BIDV, Vietnam's second-biggest bank by market value, said it intends to sell 15 percent shares to South Korea's KEB Hana Bank.

Meanwhile, gains in the real estate sector were led by Vinhomes JSC after the property developer posted a 177 percent surge in third-quarter net profit.

Malaysian shares closed 1.4 percent firmer as sentiment was balanced on hopes that cost-saving measures will be included in the country's 2019 budget due later in the week.

The country's newly elected government, led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is likely to announce broad spending cuts in the budget speech scheduled on Nov 2.

The Philippines market rebounded from previous session's declines, underpinned by broad gains in the industrial and real estate stocks.

Thai shares ended firmer on the back of energy stocks, which gained on higher oil prices. However, the index posted a 5.2 percent drop for the month.

The biggest gainer on the index, petroleum and gas company PTT Pcl, closed at its highest in more than a week. 

The bourse was further cushioned by data from the Bank of Thailand, which stated September trade surplus of Thailand was at $1.96 billion, after a $0.60 billion surplus in August.

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