February 1, 2018 / 9:50 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore, Thailand climb; Vietnam falls sharply

    * Financials, energy boost Singapore, Thailand
    * Vietnam falls 1 pct; posts third losing session in four
    * Philippines extends losses to third session

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    Feb 1 (Reuters) - Singapore and Thai stock markets closed
higher on Thursday, drawing support from the financial and
energy sectors, while Southeast Asia's top year-to-date
percentage gainer, Vietnam, fell for the third session in four.
    Broader Asian shares slipped after Chinese stocks retreated
and as concerns about rising interest rates softened investor
    The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday flagged interest
policy tightening later this year and upgraded its inflation
outlook at its policy meeting.
    However, data showing strong manufacturing activity in the
start of the year in China and other major Asian economies 
helped reinforce expectations of robust global growth.

    Thai shares climbed 0.4 percent, led by gains in
financials and energy stocks.
    Thailand's annual headline inflation rate eased in January,
missing forecasts and below the central bank's target range,
giving policymakers room to keep interest rates low, commerce
ministry data showed on Thursday.    
    PTT Pcl closed 1.3 percent higher and PTT
Exploration and Production Pcl surged to a near
three-year closing high.
    Singapore firmed 0.4 percent, boosted mainly by
    United Overseas Bank Ltd climbed more than 2
percent, while DBS Holdings closed at a one-week high.
    Indonesian shares fell marginally as gains in
financials were offset by losses in consumer and
telecommunications stocks.
    The country's annual inflation rate in January eased to its
lowest since December 2016, the statistics bureau said on
Thursday, on weak housing and utility prices.
    The Philippine index erased earlier gains to close
0.3 percent lower, marking a third consecutive losing session.
    Industrials dragged the index, with Aboitiz Equity Ventures
 ending more than 2 percent lower, and SM Prime Holdings
 falling to its lowest close in nearly seven weeks.
    The Philippine central bank said on Wednesday that annual
inflation in January may hit the upper end of the government's
target range of 2.0 percent to 4.0 percent for this year,
boosted by higher prices of oil and food.
    Vietnam stocks, the only market in the region with
double-digit gains in percentage terms since the start of this
year, fell to their lowest close in 10 days, shedding 1 percent.
     Malaysia remained closed for a public holiday.
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 STOCK MARKETS                                
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3547.23   3533.99         0.37
 Bangkok            1833.6    1826.86         0.37
 Manila             8738.72   8764.01         -0.29
 Jakarta            6598.459  6605.631        -0.11
 Ho Chi Minh        1099.67   1110.36         -0.96
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3547.23   3402.92         4.24
 Bangkok            1833.6    1753.71         4.56
 Manila             8738.72   8558.42         2.11
 Jakarta            6598.459  6355.654        3.82
 Ho Chi Minh        1099.67   984.24          11.73
 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; Editing by Amrutha
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