December 18, 2019 / 10:52 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets end higher; Thailand lifted by telecom shares

    * Malaysian stocks hit highest since Nov. 22
    * Indonesian equities gain for fourth session
    * Philippine index reverses losses 

    By Shruti Sonal
    Dec 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian markets ended higher
on Wednesday, with Malaysia and Thailand leading gains, as a run
of upbeat data from the United States eased recession and global
slowdown fears.
    U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in November
and permits for future home construction surged to a 12-1/2-year
high, while a strong rebound was seen in manufacturing
production in the previous month. 
    Thai stocks jumped over 1%, underpinned by gains in
telecom and energy stocks. 
    Communication stocks were supported by news of an industry
watchdog drafting regulations for licensing of 5G technology by
March next year, said Phillip Capital Thailand analyst Teerada
Charnyingyong.
    Advanced Info Service PCL rose over 3.8% to hit
its highest since Nov. 29, while energy conglomerate PTT PCL
 gained 2.3%.
    The country's central bank left its benchmark interest rate
unchanged at a record low on Wednesday.
    Industrials helped the Philippine index reverse
losses, although gains were capped due to a drag in financials. 
    DMCI Holdings and Manila Electric Co ended
9.6% and 0.7% higher, respectively.    
    Financials were pressured by reports about the central bank
probing about ten banks for ties with Australia's scandal-hit
Westpac Banking Corp, according to Richard Laneda,
Senior Research Manager at COL Financial Group.
    Bank of the Philippine Islands, which is the local
remittance partner of Westpac, slumped over 3.9% to its lowest
since July 12.
    Malaysian equities jumped 1.4% to hit their highest
since Nov. 22, lifted by healthcare units and industrials.
    Top Glove Corporation Bhd, which posted an
increase in its quarterly net profit on Tuesday, extended gains
to touch its highest since July 12.
    Indonesian stocks were buoyed by financials and real
estate stocks.
    Foreign interest in Indonesian markets is driven by rotation
from bonds to equities due to the end of the rate-cut cycle and
"from the developed markets into emerging markets," said Mirae
Asset analyst Taye Shim.
    The country's central bank is scheduled to meet on Thursday,
where it will likely keep rates unchanged, a Reuters poll
showed.
    

    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3209.54  3200.8          0.27
 Bangkok                1563.74  1548.65         0.97
 Manila                 7733.67  7730.45         0.04
 Jakarta                6287.25  6244.352        0.69
 Kuala Lumpur           1599.11  1576.95         1.41
 Ho Chi Minh            951.13   954.03          -0.30
                                                 
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3209.54  3068.76         4.59
 Bangkok                1563.74  1563.88         -0.01
 Manila                 7733.67  7,466.02        3.58
 Jakarta                6287.25  6,194.50        1.50
 Kuala Lumpur           1599.11  1690.58         -5.41
 Ho Chi Minh            951.13   892.54          6.56
 

 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
  
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