July 19, 2018 / 4:20 AM / 10 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise; Malaysia heads for longest winning streak in nearly 3 years

    * Singapore rises 1.2 pct to over 2-week high
    * Indonesia extends gains ahead of cenbank meeting

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    July 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Thursday, with Malaysia heading for its longest winning
streak in nearly three years, as upbeat earnings on Wall Street
and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's view that the U.S.
economy was healthy boosted investor sentiment.
    In his two-day testimony, Powell said nothing about the
Fed's two more rate increases this year, but the economy was
poised for several more years of growth.
    Singapore shares climbed as much as 1.2 percent to a
more than two-week top with financials leading the gains. DBS
Group Holdings rose 1.5 percent and United Overseas
Bank Ltd advanced 1.6 percent.
    Malaysian shares advanced for a ninth straight
session in what could be their longest winning streak since
October 2015. The index has gained 5.4 percent in the last eight
sessions of gains, and 2.3 percent so far this week. 
    Malayan Banking Bhd rose 2.6 percent, while Public
Bank Bhd gained 1.3 percent.
    The annual inflation rate slowed to its lowest in more than
three years in June, data released on Wednesday showed, after
the government abolished a goods and services tax. However,
economists said this was unlikely to lead to any change in
monetary policy.
    "Lower inflation will allow a greater scope for the central
bank (Bank Negara Malaysia) to keep the monetary policy stable
for a prolonged period, or even ease in the event the global
trade war adversely impacts the economy," ING said in a note.
    Indonesian shares rose for a second straight session
ahead of a central bank policy meeting where it is expected to
take a pause in its monetary tightening cycle.
    Astra International was the biggest boost with a
gain of 1.5 percent.
    Thai shares extended gains into a second session on
the back of financials, while Vietnam stocks were little
    Meanwhile, Philippine shares declined, dragged by
financials and real estate stocks.
    The index has been on a rally for the past two weeks, and
investors are resorting to profit-taking, said Charles William
Ang, associate analyst at COL Financial Group.
    Ayala Corp fell 2.5 percent and SM Prime Holdings
 declined 1.4 percent.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3271.5    3240.5          0.96
 Bangkok         1641.04   1635.85         0.32
 Manila          7406.42   7451.37         -0.60
 Jakarta         5910.012  5890.731        0.33
 Kuala Lumpur    1761.13   1753.07         0.46
 Ho Chi Minh     942.59    942.39          0.02
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3271.5    3402.92         -3.86
 Bangkok         1641.04   1753.71         -6.42
 Manila          7406.42   8558.42         -13.46
 Jakarta         5910.012  6355.654        -7.01
 Kuala Lumpur    1761.13   1796.81         -1.99
 Ho Chi Minh     942.59    984.24          -4.23

 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; Additional reporting
by Nikhil Nainan
Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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