Most SE Asia stocks edge up as oil recovers; Malaysia ends at 1-mth high

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(July 17): Most Southeast Asian stock markets inched higher on Tuesday, briefly sidelining trends in broader Asia that remained subdued before Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony to the US Congress.

Powell is likely to reiterate the Fed's stance towards gradual monetary policy tightening, and market focus will be on his views on recent trade tensions.

A recovery in oil prices that had slumped to three-month lows in the previous session also helped boost sentiment.

Malaysia's stock index extended gains to a seventh session, closing at a one-month high. Mobile communication service provider Digi.Com Bhd rose 7.5%.

Singapore stocks climbed, with Singapore Airlines Ltd up 3.6% and Singapore Press Holdings hitting a one-year closing high.

The city-state's non-oil domestic exports rose less than expected in June, hurt by slower growth of pharmaceutical shipments, data showed.

Philippine stocks closed higher, with telecom and consumer sectors leading gains.

Vietnam shares gained for a fourth straight session, closing 1.1% higher. The bourse ended at a two-week closing high, with Mobile World Investment Corp up 4.5%.

The Indonesian index closed 0.7% lower, largely dragged by banks. Bank Central Asia fell 1.7%, while Astra International was down 1.1%.

Thai shares marked their lowest close in a week, as energy and industrial stocks took a beating from the dip in oil prices.

PTT Exploration and Production lost 3.7%, while Airports of Thailand closed 2.8% lower.

Foreign selling of Thai shares hit a record high so far this year, bourse data showed, driven by domestic political uncertainty, higher US interest rates and rising global trade protectionism.

Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore          3239.64   3232.79         0.21
Bangkok            1626.07   1627.69         -0.10
Manila             7381.68   7369.44         0.17
Jakarta            5861.508  5905.158        -0.74
Kuala Lumpur       1737.28   1726.67         0.61
Ho Chi Minh        921.27    911.11          1.12

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Singapore          3239.64   3402.92         -4.80
Bangkok            1626.07   1753.71         -7.28
Manila             7381.68   8558.42         -13.75
Jakarta            5861.508  6355.654        -7.77
Kuala Lumpur       1737.28   1796.81         -3.31
Ho Chi Minh        921.27    984.24          -6.40