April 19, 2018 / 5:21 AM / 7 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippine shares hit 1-yr low on heavy foreign selling

    * Philippine shares fall over 3 pct
    * Higher oil prices aid gains in most other markets

    By Nikhil Nainan
    April 19 (Reuters) - Philippine shares plummeted to their
lowest in a year on Thursday on heavy foreign selling while most
other Southeast Asian stock markets rose on the back of strong
commodity and crude oil prices.
    A broad sell-off saw the Philippine index slide 3.1
percent, its sharpest intraday drop in nearly one-and-a-half
years. The index was the top loser in the region and is down
more than 11 percent so far this year.
    SM Investments Corp and SM Prime Holdings Inc
 were the biggest losers on the index, down 3 percent
and 3.9 percent, respectively.
    "In the past few days, we have been seeing heavy foreign
selling, reflecting concerns about rising inflation," said
Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank. 
    "Investors are waiting to see how the government will
address these concerns."
    In early April, Governor Nestor Espenilla signalled a
near-term rate hike might be on the cards after inflation
accelerated at its fastest pace in five years last month.

    There have also been reports of large-scale selling in index
stocks by a broker.
    The market is quite oversold, said Manny Cruz, an analyst at
Asiasec Equities Inc.
    "I think the market is in for some recovery in the near term
ahead of GDP and first-quarter corporate earnings." 
    Most other markets in the region responded positively to
strong metal and oil prices, with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gaining 0.8
percent.
    Brent crude oil futures touched late-2014 highs as
U.S. crude inventories declined and as top exporter Saudi Arabia
is expected to keep withholding supply.
    Thai shares rose as much as 0.7 percent supported by
strong gains in energy stocks.
    Oil explorer PTT Exploration and Production PCL
and oil distributor PTT PCL rose 5.3 percent and 2.9
percent, respectively.
    The index is on track for an eighth session of gains in
nine.
    Malaysian shares climbed 0.4 percent to their
highest since July 2014.
    Petronas Dagangan Bhd, the principal marketer for
oil giant Petronas, shouldered much of the gains, up 4.2
percent.
    Singapore shares soared 1.2 percent to a 12-week
high, helped by robust gains in financials.
    DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Oversea-Chinese Banking
Corporation Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd
gained between 1.9 percent and 2.2 percent.
    Vietnam, down 1.6 percent, extended losses for a
fourth session in five.
            
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0422 GMT                                     
 Market                       Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore                    3599.5    3557.82         1.17
 Bangkok                      1784.39   1771.56         0.72
 Manila                       7543.49   7793.13         -3.20
 Jakarta                      6330.563  6320.005        0.17
 Kuala Lumpur                 1887.28   1879.32         0.42
 Ho Chi Minh                  1121.01   1138.53         -1.54
                                                        
 Change on year                                         
 Market                       Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore                    3599.5    3402.92         5.78
 Bangkok                      1784.39   1753.71         1.75
 Manila                       7543.49   8558.42         -11.86
 Jakarta                      6330.563  6355.654        -0.39
 Kuala Lumpur                 1887.28   1796.81         5.04
 Ho Chi Minh                  1121.01   984.24          13.90
 


 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan; additional reporting by
Enrico Dela Cruz and Nicole Pinto)
  
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