Up on Wall Street gains; Thailand hits near 2-year high

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BENGALURU (Jan 26): Southeast Asian stock markets advanced on Thursday, in line with global equities, following a record-breaking performance from Wall Street overnight.

U.S. stock markets climbed on Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average blew past the psychological 20,000 level, supported by President Donald Trump's pro-growth initiatives that reignited a post-election rally, and strong fourth-quarter earnings. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite indexes also closed at record highs for a second consecutive session.    

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose as much as 0.8%, their highest in three months.

Wall Street performance has improved investor sentiment and risk appetite for Asian equities, said Mikey Macanaig, an analyst with Sunsecurities Inc. Markets are seeing money come back to emerging equities, with the Asian market performance in tandem with U.S. markets, Macanaig added.

Thai shares outperformed regional peers, jumping as much as 1% to a 23-month high.

Gains were supported by energy stocks as oil prices rose on Thursday on a weaker dollar.

Singapore gained 0.4%, led by financial and telecom services stocks.

The city-state's industrial production in December is expected to have continued to rise on an annual basis, a Reuters poll showed.

DBS Group Holdings was the top performer on the index, along with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, followed by Southeast Asia's largest telecom company, Singapore
Telecommunications.

Philippines rose 0.4%, snapping two sessions of losses, after government data showed the Philippine economy grew faster than expected at the end of last year.
   
Gross domestic product rose 1.7% in the fourth quarter, picking up from an upwardly revised 1.5% growth in the third quarter and stronger than the 1.6% forecast in a Reuters' poll.

The stronger-than-expected growth data bolsters expectations that the central bank will tighten its monetary policy this year, the Bank of the Philippine Islands said in a note.

BDO Unibank Inc led gains in the financial sector, and was the top performer on the index.

Malaysia and Indonesia gained 0.3%.

Vietnam's financial markets are closed from Jan 26 to Feb 1 for a national holiday.

 

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS;
Change at 0357 GMT

 

Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3053.01 3039.94 0.43
Bangkok 1595.89 1584.29 0.73
Manila 7351.79 7323.36 0.39
Jakarta 5311.935 5293.782 0.34
Kuala Lumpur 1688.79 1683.93 0.29

Change this year

Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3053.01 2880.76 5.98
Bangkok 1595.89 1542.94 3.43
Manila 7351.79 6840.64 7.47
Jakarta 5311.935 5296.711 0.29
Kuala Lumpur 1688.79 1641.73 2.87