January 24, 2019 / 4:37 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise, Philippines leads gains on stronger 2019 GDP hopes

    * Singapore on track to snap three straight sessions of
losses
    * Philippine Q4 GDP growth slower than expected
    * Malaysia key interest rate expected

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    Jan 24 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Thursday, with Philippines leading the pack, as investors
expected a stronger GDP growth for the archipelago this year
after it missed estimates in the last quarter of 2018.
    The Philippine benchmark index rose 0.9 percent,
buoyed by financial and industrial stocks, despite a
slower-than-expected annual GDP growth in the fourth quarter. 
     The country's economy grew 6.1 percent on year in the
December quarter of 2018, falling short of expectations of a 6.2
percent rise according to a Reuters poll.
    However, analysts expect the GDP growth to improve this year
on hopes of a recovery in private consumption.  
    "We are banking on stronger 2019 GDP growth considering this
will be an election year, so you might expect a recovery in
terms of private consumption," said Miguel Ong, an analyst at AP
Securities.
    Investors have already priced in the 2018 GDP numbers and
are looking forward to this year's figures, Ong added.
    Shares of index heavyweights Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc
 and Ayala Land Inc rose as much as 3.6 percent
and 1.3 percent, respectively. 
    Meanwhile, Malaysian stocks rose 0.2 percent,
bouncing back from sharp losses in the previous session,
following December inflation data.
    Consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in December from a
year earlier, lower than the 0.4 percent rise predicted by a
Reuters poll.
    Also, the country's central bank is expected to hold key
interest rates during their meeting later in the day, according
to a Reuters poll.
    Shares of Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd rose 1.3
percent while those of Tenaga Nasional Bhd rose 0.6
percent.
    The Singapore benchmark index rose 0.5 percent, on
track to snap three session of losses.
    Telecommunication and industrial stocks boosted the index
with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd's counter rising
0.7 percent while that of Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd
 gaining 1 percent.
    However Vietnam bucked the rising trend, as the benchmark
index edged marginally down, hurt by losses concentrated
in real estate stocks.
      
    

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS As at 0406
    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3186.99   3171.11         0.50
 Bangkok                1625.14   1617.38         0.48
 Manila                 8059.05   7989.65         0.87
 Jakarta                6464.075  6451.17         0.20
 Kuala Lumpur           1691.07   1688.14         0.17
 Ho Chi Minh            907.08    908.18          -0.12
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3186.99   3068.76         3.85
 Bangkok                1625.14   1563.88         3.92
 Manila                 8059.05   7,466.02        7.94
 Jakarta                6464.075  6,194.50        4.35
 Kuala Lumpur           1691.07   1690.58         0.03
 Ho Chi Minh            907.08    892.54          1.63
 
 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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