January 3, 2018 / 10:01 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippine, Thai stocks hit record closing highs

    By Aditya Soni
    Jan 3 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Wednesday, tracking broader Asian shares that marked a 10-year
top on improved prospects for global economic growth, with the
Philippine and Thai indexes hitting record closing highs. 
    A raft of strong manufacturing data that underscored an
upturn in world economic growth boosted risk appetite, lifting
Asian stocks further after they jumped 1.4
percent on Tuesday in their best performance since last March.
    "The regional markets are really bullish about the year
ahead, so that's influencing their performance today," said
Lexter Azurin, an analyst with AB Capital Securities in Manila.
    Philippine shares surged almost 2 percent, their best
day in nearly two years, on the first trading day of 2018.  
    SM Investments Corp, one of the country's largest
conglomerates, surged to a record high and accounted for most of
the gains on the index, while JG Summit Holdings Inc
climbed to its highest since Nov. 14. 
    "I think the (Philippine) tax reform package is the very
essence of the infrastructure push of the government, so we are
seeing a lot of optimism on that aspect," Azurin said.
    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said last month that
lawmakers were expected to pass more measures in 2018 under his
comprehensive tax reform agenda, after signing a bill containing
the first batch of reforms into law.
    Thailand rose 1.4 percent to mark a record closing
peak, with energy stocks and industrials leading the gainers. 
    Airports of Thailand touched a record high, pushing
up the Thai benchmark, while oil company PTT added 2.3
    Data on Wednesday showed Thailand's inflation rose again in
December, but below forecasts and within the central bank's
target range, giving policymakers room to keep interest rates
    Singapore shares closed 1 percent higher, led by
gains in DBS Group Holdings Ltd, the city-state's
biggest stock by market capitalisation, while Malaysia
rebounded from losses in the previous session to climb 0.6
    Indonesia, however, retreated from an intraday
record hit in the previous session, with consumer staples and
telecommunication services dragging down the index. 
    Index heavyweight Telekomunikasi Indonesia dropped
to a near two-week low, while Unilever Indonesia fell
3.4 percent. 
    "Over the course of yesterday, the index surged to 6,445 at
one point in time; I think the rally was too fast-paced, this
prompted market participants to take profit, rather than take a
long position," said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on day                                
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3464.28   3430.3          0.99
 Bangkok            1778.53   1753.71         1.42
 Manila             8724.13   8558.42         1.94
 Jakarta            6251.479  6339.238        -1.38
 Kuala Lumpur       1792.79   1782.7          0.57
 Ho Chi Minh        1005.67   995.77          0.99
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3464.28   3402.92         1.80
 Bangkok            1778.53   1753.71         1.42
 Manila             8724.13   8,558.42        1.94
 Jakarta            6251.479  6,355.65        -1.64
 Kuala Lumpur       1792.79   1796.81         -0.22
 Ho Chi Minh        1005.67   984.24          2.18

 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
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