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SE Asia Stocks-Most end higher; Philippines posts 3-wk closing high
July 12, 2017 / 10:25 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most end higher; Philippines posts 3-wk closing high

    By Chris Thomas
    July 12 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Wednesday, in line with broader Asia ahead of U.S. Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress later in the
day.
    While Yellen is expected to say that the Fed remains on a
hawkish course of steadily raising rates, any signals on how the
bank is viewing a retreat in inflation and muted wage growth
will be closely watched.
    Philippine shares outperformed other markets in
Southeast Asia, rising 1 percent to post their highest close in
more than three weeks.
    About 238,000 shares changed hands, the highest in nearly a
month.
    Real estate stocks led the gains with Ayala Land
gaining 2.9 percent and SM Prime Holdings closing up
1.8 percent.
    "I think there's general optimism in the property market,"
said Jeffrey Lucero, an equity research analyst with RCBC
Securities.
    The market may be pricing in a good results season since
some companies such as Ayala Land met investors' expectations
last quarter, he added. 
    Indonesian shares ended 0.8 percent higher, lifted
by consumer and financial stocks, while an index of the
country's 45 most liquid stocks gained 1 percent.
    Vietnam shares rose 0.6 percent with oil and gas
refiner Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp logging its
biggest gain in more than three months.
    Crude oil prices rose more than 1 percent, extending gains
from the previous day as the U.S. government cut its crude
production outlook for next year and as fuel inventories
plunged.
    Malaysian shares hit their lowest in more than
two-and-a-half months before recovering to end marginally
higher, while Thai stocks closed up 0.4 percent. 
    Meanwhile, Singapore shares closed down 0.3 percent
after shedding as much as 0.7 percent to hit a six-week low
earlier in the session. 
    "The market has performed quite well in the first half, so
people are taking profits," said Joanne Goh, an equity
strategist with DBS Bank Ltd.
    Heavyweights DBS Group and Hongkong Land Holdings
 declined about 0.8 percent each.    
    Companies are due to report their quarterly results, and
there are expectations that some stocks, including banks, may
disappoint, she added. 
    "Banks are still uncertain as to whether there will be more
provisions," said Goh. "So far, the net interest margins haven't
picked up despite interest rates going up."
       
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change on day
    
  Change on day                                        
  Market          Current      Previous Close  Pct Move
  Singapore       3208.91      3218.8          -0.31
  Bangkok         1574.93      1569.24         0.36
  Manila          7938.37      7858.14         1.02
  Jakarta         5819.132     5773.326        0.79
  Kuala Lumpur    1757.24      1755.03         0.13
  Ho Chi Minh     774.17       769.36          0.63
                                               
  Change on year                               
  Market          Current      End 2016        Pct Move
  Singapore       3208.91      2880.76         11.39
  Bangkok         1574.93      1542.94         2.07
  Manila          7938.37      6840.64         16.05
  Jakarta         5819.132     5296.711        9.86
  Kuala Lumpur    1757.24      1641.73         7.04
  Ho Chi Minh     774.17       664.87          16.44
 
 (Reporting by Chris Thomas; Additional Reporting by Binisha
Ben; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  

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