SE Asian stocks largely up; Philippines outperforms ahead of cbank meeting

SE Asian stocks largely up; Philippines outperforms ahead of cbank meeting
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(Feb 6): Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday, with the Philippines gaining the most ahead of a central bank policy meeting later this week where it is expected to keep rates unchanged.

There has been little indication from the central bank that any move on rates is forthcoming, DBS Group Research said in a note, adding market expectations may change depending on cues from policy statements.

Philippine shares rose nearly 1% on Monday, rising for a second straight session, and have gained more than 6% this year, outperforming other regional markets.

The Philippines underperformed other regional markets in the second half of 2016, "so in the same respect when they bounced back, we also bounced back more than others," said April Lee-Tan, head of research at Manila-based COL Financial.

Thai shares rose for the second straight session with Kasikornbank Pcl hitting a three-month high.

The Bank of Thailand is expected to keep one-day repurchase rate unchanged at 1.50% at its first policy meeting of the year on Wednesday.

The pressure on emerging markets has weakened as the US dollar is on a falling trend after President Donald Trump's comments on currency devaluation by China, Japan and Germany, said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas.

"Investors are going to take another look at emerging-market assets," Shim said.

The US dollar fell on Monday after US data showed a smaller-than-expected rise in wages in January that reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates next month.  

Indonesian shares rose 0.7%, helped by financials with Bank Mandiri (Persero) gaining 2.7%.

Southeast Asia's biggest economy grew 4.94% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter, compared with 5.01% in the preceding quarter.        

Singapore closed 0.5% higher, snapping two consecutive sessions of losses. Index heavyweight DBS Group Holdings gained 1.4% in heavy trading.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on day

Market         Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore      3056.91   3041.94   0.49
Bangkok        1589.13   1582.95   0.39
Manila         7294.4    7226.7    0.94
Jakarta        5395.995  5360.767  0.66
Kuala Lumpur   1691.24   1685.01   0.37
Ho Chi Minh    700.04    700.35    -0.04

Change this year

Market         Current   End 2016  % move
Singapore      3056.91   2880.76   6.11
Bangkok        1589.13   1542.94   2.99
Manila         7294.4    6840.64   6.63
Jakarta        5395.995  5296.711  1.87
Kuala Lumpur   1691.24   1641.73   3.02
Ho Chi Minh    700.04    664.87    5.29