BANGKOK, June 20 The Philippine main index rose
on Friday as a higher interest rate outlook lifted banking
shares while Vietnam's benchmark eased in low volume but a dong
devaluation bolstered selective buying.
The Philippine central bank tightened policy for the third
straight meeting on Thursday, surprising markets by raising the
rate on special deposits in a bid to contain liquidity growth
and curb inflation pressures.
"As early as the next policy meeting, we may see a 25 bps
rate hike in the key overnight borrowing rate. Clearly, the
central bank is a little concerned with regards to rising
inflationary pressures in the economy," broker DBS said in a
Shares of Bank of the Philippines jumped 2.2
percent to a near one-month high while Metropolitan Bank & Trust
gained 2 percent to its highest in more than a week.
The broader market was up 0.5 percent, trimming its
loss so far in the week to 0.7 percent.
In Hanoi, shares of Thien Nam Trading Import Export Corp
surged 6.5 percent, the top percentage gainer on the
benchmark VN Index.
The VN index edged down 0.13 percent, adding on the weakness
on Thursday, and taking its loss so far in the week to 1.2
Vietnam devalued its currency for the first time in a year
in what analysts said was an effort to prop up its economy and
"The 1 percent depreciation is within the committed 2
percent range by State Bank of Vietnam ... Fundamentally, it
does not impact much. It makes sense to depreciate the dong
slightly to further support exports," said Nguyen Vu Ngoc Trinh,
a senior fund manager of Manulife Asset Management (Vietnam) Co.
Share markets elsewhere in Southeast Asia were range-bound
while an index of global stocks nestled near record highs on
Friday as markets wagered monetary policy would stay super loose
in the United States, Europe and Japan for a long time to come.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change at 0700 GMT
Market Current Prev Close Pct Move
TR SE Asia Index* 423.84 424.30 -0.11
Singapore 3263.20 3269.02 -0.18
Kuala Lumpur 1881.37 1881.48 -0.01
Bangkok 1465.18 1461.91 +0.22
Jakarta 4856.91 4864.27 -0.15
Manila 6733.93 6699.39 +0.52
Ho Chi Minh 566.61 567.35 -0.13
* The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a
highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
(Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)