Philippines rebounds; Thailand gains on financials

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BENGALURU (Aug 22): Philippine shares resumed trade on Wednesday on a firm note after a holiday, led by real estate stocks, while gains in financials and energy pushed the Thai index higher.

Asian shares ex-Japan were trading 0.25% higher after the benchmark S&P 500 touched a record high on Tuesday, buoyed by strong earnings reports in the consumer sector and relative calm in the trade dispute between the United States and China.    

Blue-chips Ayala Land and SM Prime Holdings, up around 2% each, were among the top gainers on the Philippine index which was down more than 1% in the previous session. Food & beverage products maker Universal Robina Corp jumped nearly 4%.

SM Prime Holdings, the biggest boost to the benchmark, partially confirmed a media article about its three-year expansion plans.

Thai shares edged higher, with oil & gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production gaining 0.7% and lender Kasikornbank rising nearly 1%.

Thailand's customs-cleared annual exports in July grew slightly from the previous month, commerce ministry data showed on Wednesday. However, the growth in exports was below forecasts.

The country recorded a trade deficit of US$0.52 billion in July, compared with June's US$1.58 billion surplus, official data showed.

Vietnam shares were up 0.7%, helped by gains in financials.

Financial markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were closed for a national holiday.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0359GMT
Change on the day

Market             Current   Previous close  % move
Bangkok            1701.42   1694.63         0.40
Manila             7584.72   7500.53         1.12
Ho Chi Minh        986.31    979.21          0.73

Change on year

Market             Current   End 2017        % move
Bangkok            1701.42   1753.71         -2.98
Manila             7584.72   8558.42         -11.38
Ho Chi Minh        986.31    984.24          0.21