SE Asia Stocks-Thailand gains on stimulus boost, Singapore wilts on bleak data
By Soumyajit Saha
Aug 16 (Reuters) - Thai shares gained on Friday, in line with broader Asian peers, as the local government hinted plans of an economic stimulus shortly after China prepped plans to boost its disposable income, while the Singapore index faltered on weak export data.
Sentiment got a lift when China's state planner said on Friday that Beijing would roll out a plan to boost disposable income this year and in 2020 to spur consumption as the economy slows.
Meanwhile, Thailand's finance minister on Friday also announced plans for a $10 billion stimulus package to help support a slowdown in the economy. The government is targeting a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of at least 3% this year and 3.5% next year, an economic cabinet official said.
Thai stocks .SETI posted gains of over 1.5%, with financial heavyweights such as Siam Commercial Bank PCL SCB.BK and Kasikornbank PCL KBANK.BK ending up 2.9% and 1.6%, respectively.
The index, however, closed 1.2% lower for the week.
An uptick in U.S. retail sales data, that helped soothe fears of an imminent recession, also averted an outflow of crucial foreign capital from the Indonesian market, said Taye Shim, director of capital markets at Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
The Indonesian benchmark index .JKSE advanced to close at its highest in two weeks, underpinned by consumer shares. Cigarette makers Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna HMSP.JK and Gudang Garam GGRM.JK closed up 6.3% and 3.7% respectively.
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo on Friday proposed a 2,528.8 trillion rupiah ($177.71 billion) budget to parliament for 2020, 3% bigger than 2019, and set an economic growth target of 5.3% for next year.
Singaporean shares .STI ended 0.35% weaker after data showed that the city-state's non-oil exports shrank for a fifth straight month due to a decline in shipments of electronics and pharmaceuticals.
The data failed to improve market confidence despite of exports being better than estimates, said Joel Ng, analyst, KGI Securities.
Beverage maker Thai Beverage TBEV.SI closed 2.2% lower, while property developer Ascendas Real Estate Investment AEMN.SI lost 1.6%. The index posted a weekly loss of 1.7%.
The Philippine index .PSI, the biggest laggard in the region, was pulled down by subdued real estate and banking shares. Property developer SM Prime Holdings SMPH.PS closed 1.2% lower, while lender BDO Unibank BDO.PS ended down 2%.
Malaysian shares .KLSE closed marginally lower, hurt by the financial sector; the index lost 1% on the week.
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(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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