South-east Asia stocks mostly up as Philippines, Indonesia hit new highs
SINGAPORE, Jan 22 — Most South-east Asian stock markets rose today with the Philippine and Indonesia indexes scaling record levels, while broader Asian equities pulled back slightly after the US government was forced to shut down.
The Philippine Stock Exchange PSEi Index rose as much as 0.7 per cent to an all-time high of 8,975.12 on optimism about the economy a day ahead of the release of fourth-quarter GDP data.
DBS Group Research said in a note that it forecast GDP growth of 6.9 per cent in the fourth quarter.
“Overall domestic demand is likely to remain strong in 2018, supported by the government’s infrastructure push. Our current forecast pencil in steady GDP growth of 6.7 per cent in 2018/19,” said DBS Group.
The country’s statistics agency revised last Friday the third-quarter GDP growth rate to 7 per cent from 6.9 per cent.
Industrial and real estate stocks led the rise. Property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc rose as much as 1.3 per cent, while property investment company LT Group Inc gained as much as 5.4 per cent to its highest in over four years.
Indonesian shares extended gains into a sixth session and hit a life high. Energy stocks led the gains. Coal miners Indo Tambangraya Megah Tbk PT and Adaro Energy Tbk PT climbed as much as 6.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent, respectively.
An index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.4 per cent.
Vietnam shares gained as much as 1.3 per cent to a more than 10-year high. Utilities and financials were the top
performers, with Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam hitting a record high and Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp rising 4.3 per cent.
Singapore shares were flat as gains in industrials were offset by lagging financial and consumer discretionary stocks.
Index heavyweight Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd rose as much as 3.1 per cent, while United Overseas Bank Ltd fell up to 1.1 per cent.
Thai shares rose slightly, helped by gains in energy and industrial stocks.
Data released earlier in the day showed that the country’s customs-cleared annual exports rose for a tenth straight month in December, but at a slower pace than the previous month and below expectations, and posted the first trade deficit in five months. — Reuters