Philippines, Indonesia stocks rise 2 pct

By Reuters   May 11, 2018 | 03:01 pm GMT+7
Philippines, Indonesia stocks rise 2 pct
Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday, with Philippines and Indonesia climbing 2 percent each.

The increase came as sentiment was buoyed after a softer US inflation print hinted at fewer rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this year.

Southeast Asian stock markets, except Vietnam, rose on Friday, with Philippines and Indonesia climbing 2 percent each as sentiment was buoyed after a softer U.S. inflation print hinted at fewer rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this year.

The slower-than-expected April consumer price rises followed payrolls data last week which pointed to sluggish wage growth.

Asia shares ex-Japan rose nearly 1 percent, with investors also cheering U.S.-North Korean steps to further ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippine index rose as much as 2.5 percent, its biggest intraday gain in over seven weeks.

Power generator Aboitiz Equity ventures was up 5.1  percent, while BDO Unibank gained as much as 4.5 percent.

The Philippine central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points after market-close on Thursday, for the first time in more than three years, to contain inflationary pressure amid strong economic growth.

"Most analysts were citing that recent inflation figures have in a way signalled that the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) might be behind the curve, so it was viewed positively by the markets today," said Lexter Azurin, a senior equity analyst at Manila-based AB Capital Securities.

The Indonesian index soared as much as 2 percent on broad-based gains. 

Mining contractor United Tractors jumped as much as 8.5 percent, while Bank Negara Indonesia gained as much as 6 percent and Bank Mandiri rose as much as 4.2 percent.

Indonesia's central bank said on Wednesday it was intervening in the markets to support the rupiah, which has been at its weakest in 2-1/2 years, and was preparing to adjust its benchmark interest rate.

An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks was up 2.3 percent.

Singapore climbed as much as 0.7 percent, with financials boosting the index. United Overseas Bank Ltd  rose as much as 1.9 percent. 

Thai shares edged up after six sessions of losses, while Vietnam shed more than 1 percent, with industrials and financials leading the losers.  

Malaysia was closed for a public holiday after general elections.

 
 
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