By Susan Mathew
Feb 22 Southeast Asian stock markets were
largely flat on Wednesday, except Singapore which gained
tracking U.S. stocks that rose to record highs on Tuesday driven
by strong earnings.
Stellar results by consumer stocks took Wall Street higher
while the U.S. dollar strengthened on hawkish comments by the
U.S. Federal Reserve on Tuesday strengthening the case for rate
hikes to remain on track.
Singapore stocks snapped two days of losses, rising 0.5
percent, led by the oil and gas and financial sectors.
"Singapore generally tracks the U.S. markets. The U.S.
markets gained half a percent yesterday (Tuesday), so it's just
tracking that higher," said an analyst from Singapore.
Energy companies Keppel Corp and Sembcorp
Industries rose 1.5 percent and 0.6 percent
Oil prices held near multi-week highs on Wednesday after
OPEC signalled optimism over its deal with other producers to
curb output to clear a glut that has weighed on markets since
Financial sector shares gained with DBS Group Holdings
and United Overseas Bank up nearly 1 percent
each, with the latter rising to its highest since August 2015.
Vietnam stocks rose as much as 0.35 percent to their highest
in nine years led by energy and consumer stocks.
Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp gained 1.7
percent while Vietnam Dairy Products JSC added as much
as 0.7 percent.
Malaysian shares were marginally higher, after data
showed consumer prices rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier.
A Reuters poll had seen inflation at 2.8 percent, rising
sharply from the previous month.
Rising inflation could pose an impediment to the central
bank to ease monetary policy further, DBS Group Research said in
The central bank missed the window to cut the policy rate in
November last year due to the tremendous pressure on the ringgit
which plunged by about 5 percent in the month after the U.S.
election result, the note said.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STCOK MARKETS : CHANGE AT 0436 GMT
Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3107.8 3094.19 0.44
Bangkok 1566.07 1564.42 0.11
Manila 7271.88 7282.68 -0.15
Jakarta 5337.831 5340.99 -0.06
Kuala Lumpur 1707.31 1706.55 0.04
Ho Chi Minh 718.19 716.55 0.23
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3107.8 2880.76 7.88
Bangkok 1566.07 1542.94 1.50
Manila 7271.88 6840.64 4.60
Jakarta 5337.831 5296.711 0.78
Kuala Lumpur 1707.31 1641.73 3.99
Ho Chi Minh 718.19 644.87 6.87
(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)