May 4, 2017 / 5:59 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Largely steady; Philippines hits over 7-month high

    By Christina Martin
    May 4 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit their highest
in over seven months on Thursday, led by mining stocks after the
ouster of the country's environment minister over her
anti-mining advocacy, while other markets in the region were
largely steady following the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to
leave rates unchanged. 
    Philippine lawmakers ended a 10-month crusade by Environment
Secretary Regina Lopez on Wednesday, forcing out the eco-warrior
whose mining crackdown was backed by the president but led to
demands of her removal by miners.
    Apex Mining Co Inc surged as much as 20.2 percent,
to its highest in over two months, while Philex Mining Corp
 rose as much as 1.3 percent. 
    The markets could remain "a bit weak", after the U.S.
Federal Reserve held interest rates unchanged, as "there are
concerns that borrowing costs will go up," said an analyst from
Singapore, who did not want to be identified.  
    The Fed downplayed weak first-quarter economic growth and
emphasised the strength of the labour market, a sign it was
still on track for two rate increases this year.   
    Singapore's benchmark index snapped three sessions of
gains to fall as much as 0.6 percent, with financials dragging
the index down. 
    DBS Group Holdings Ltd posted its lowest intraday
percentage loss since Feb 14, while Oversea-Chinese Banking
Corporation Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd
slid as much as 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. 
    Malaysia shares hit a near two-week low, underpinned
by financials. 
    A $1.7-billion property deal that was expected to ease the
debt burden of Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad
(1MDB) fell through on Wednesday, complicating Prime Minister
Najib Razak's efforts to move on from a financial scandal
surrounding the fund.
    "Although we see the pullback as a healthy correction, the
cancellation of the Bandar Malaysia deal is a shock for the
market," said Alexander Chia, head of research, RHB Research
Institute. 
    Thailand edged up to its highest in near two weeks,
buoyed by financials and energy stocks, while Indonesia
gained marginally. 
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0551 GMT
  Market           Current       Previous Close  Pct Move
  Singapore        3225.12       3237.81         -0.39
  Bangkok          1571.53       1564.12         0.47
  Manila           7755.65       7682.26         0.96
  Jakarta          5663.953      5647.368        0.29
  Kuala Lumpur     1757.93       1772.51         -0.82
  Ho Chi Minh      722.52        719.54          0.41
                                                 
  Change on year                                 
  Market           Current       End 2016        Pct Move
  Singapore        3225.12       2880.76         11.95
  Bangkok          1571.53       1542.94         1.85
  Manila           7755.65       6840.64         13.38
  Jakarta          5663.953      5296.711        6.93
  Kuala Lumpur     1757.93       1641.73         7.08
  Ho Chi Minh      722.52        664.87          8.67
 

 (Reporting by Christina Martin; Additional reporting by Liz
Lee; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  

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