May 5, 2020 / 10:40 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines gains most as Duterte apology boosts Ayala, Metro Pacific

    * Ayala Corp, Metro Pacific Investments top gainers on
Philippine
index
    * Malaysia slashes policy rate by 50 bps to 2.00%
    * Thailand closes lower

    By Nikhil Subba
    May 5 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed
higher on Tuesday, with Philippines gaining the most after
President Rodrigo Duterte apologised for his "hurting words"
about two tycoons associated with some of the biggest companies
in the country.
    President Duterte apologised to the Ayala family, the owners
of Ayala Corp, and to Manuel Pangilinan, the CEO of
Metro Pacific Company, offering an olive branch to settle a
costly regulatory row.
    Shares of Ayala Corp and Metro Pacific Investments Corp
 surged 14.7% and 13.6%, respectively, helping the
Philippine benchmark end 1.8% higher after gaining as
much as 2.4% earlier in the session, the most since April 17.
    Meanwhile, most other markets in Southeast Asia rose as
investors found hope in the phased reopening of some economies
that were earlier hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
    "The oscillating sentiment once again shifted towards the
positive end, underpinned by reopening hopes that looks to
relieve some of the frayed nerves from concerns over renewed
U.S.-China tensions," Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG said
in a note.
    Malaysian stocks ended about 1% higher, boosted by
Petronas Chemicals Group and Axiata Group,
which gained 2.8% and 1.9%, respectively.
    The country's central bank on Tuesday slashed its key
interest rate by 50 basis points to the lowest since 2009 and
left the door open for further cuts to protect the trade-reliant
nation's economy from prolonged, pandemic-driven damage.

    Bucking the trend, Thai stocks shed 1.8%, pressured
by Minor International, down 5.2%, and Hana
Microelectronics, which fell 3.5%.
    "Thai stocks look set to start the week with a downward bias
... to play catch-up with losses in overseas bourses when the
Thai stock market was closed on Friday and Monday," analysts at
Phillip Securities said in a note.


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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
    
  Change on the day                                     
  Market             Current     Previous       Pct Move
                                 close          
  Singapore          2572.36     2563.69        0.34
  Bangkok            1278.63     1301.66        -1.77
  Manila             5671.67     5572.09        1.79
  Jakarta            4630.133    4605.487       0.54
  Kuala Lumpur       1389.55     1376.59        0.94
 Ho Chi Minh         764.16      762.47         0.22
                                                
  Change so far in                              
 2020                                           
  Market             Current     End 2019       Pct Move
  Singapore          2572.36     3222.83        -20.18
  Bangkok            1278.63     1579.84        -19.07
  Manila             5671.67     7,815.26       -27.43
  Jakarta            4630.133    6,299.54       -26.50
  Kuala Lumpur       1389.55     1588.76        -12.54
  Ho Chi Minh        764.16      960.99         -20.48
 

 (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika
Syamnath)
  
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