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SE Asia Stocks-End higher on tariff relief hopes, Philippines at over 3-mth high

By Sameer Manekar

* Malaysia mostly flat, holds interest rate * Indonesia Q3 GDP broadly in line with expectations * Philippines surges in last-minute trade By Sameer Manekar Nov 5 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Tuesday, with Philippines rising the most, as risk appetite was boosted by a report that the United States was planning to drop some tariffs on Chinese goods. Global equities rose after the Financial Times reported that the United States was considering rolling back levies on $112 billion of Chinese imports as a concession to a partial deal, which could be signed this month, according to U.S. officials. "If the U.S. does roll back existing tariffs, the positive spillover will extend beyond financial markets, as such a move would alleviate the downwards pressures on global trade conditions as well," said Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM in a note. Meanwhile, the central bank of China cut interest rates on its medium-term lending facility loans to support economic growth and tackle any fallout from the country's trade dispute with the United States. The Philippine bourse closed at its highest level in more than three months, rising for a second consecutive session. A bulk of the bourse's gains came from last minute buying into heavyweight stocks. The country's annual rate of inflation eased for a fifth straight month in October and was within the central bank's target for the month. Financials and consumer firms lifted the index, with Bank of the Philippine Islands and SM Investments Corp rising 2.8% and 6.4%, respectively. Indonesian shares snapped their three-day streak of losses, rising the most in over three weeks as financial and consumer sectors rose. Bank Mandiri (Persero) and poultry feed producer Charoen Pokphand Indonesia were up 4.7% and 6.6%, respectively. The country's economy grew at its weakest pace in over two years in the third quarter, signalling the possibility of further stimulus measures. An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks ended 2.4% higher. Singapore's benchmark index closed at its highest in over three months, rising on the back of consumer and industrial firms. Industrial conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings added 2.2%, while auto manufacturer Jardine Cycle & Carriage rose 1.8%. Malaysia's benchmark index ended slightly higher after the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Tuesday, as forecast by a Reuters poll. Thai stocks closed at their two-week high, ahead of a Bank of Thailand policy meeting on Wednesday. The central bank is expected to stand pat on its benchmark interest rate, according to a Reuters poll. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3248.63 3236.4 0.38 Bangkok 1626.87 1622.25 0.28 Manila 8216.68 8059.65 1.95 Jakarta 6264.152 6180.344 1.36 Kuala Lumpur 1606.74 1603.56 0.20 Ho Chi Minh 1024.34 1022.43 0.19 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3248.63 3068.76 5.86 Bangkok 1626.87 1563.88 4.03 Manila 8216.68 7,466.02 10.05 Jakarta 6264.152 6,194.50 1.12 Kuala Lumpur 1606.74 1690.58 -4.96 Ho Chi Minh 1024.34 892.54 14.77 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)