Tuesday, February 21, 2012

News Update SE Asia Stocks-Gain, Philippine shares at all-time high

* Commodities lead gains in region * S'pore property shares up on China BANGKOK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Philippine shares climbed 1.3 percent to their all-time highs, and other Southeast Asian stock markets posted modest gains on Monday, helped by selective buying in blue chip firms as commodities-related shares gained along with high oil prices. Across the region, investor appetite for riskier assets was boosted by a surprise policy easing by China and expectations that Greece would secure a second bailout deal. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was trading up 0.68 percent by 0944 GMT while the MSCI index for Southeast Asia, made up of selected stocks, was up 0.9 percent. Singapore's Straits Times Index ended up 0.7 percent and Malaysia's main index was 0.2 percent higher. Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange index gained 2.7 percent, with foreigners buying $3.98 million worth of shares amid hope that the country's macro outlook was getting better with inflation and interest rates easing. Jakarta's Composite Index was up 0.09 percent, recouping early losses, and Thailand's SET index finished up 0.5 percent. Most markets had a choppy session, with declining volumes and a bout of profit taking. "Regional markets are facing some profit-taking. There has been a good rally in share prices, which was a bit faster than expected. So, people are more likely to look to lock in gains," said Pichai Lertsupongkij, head of investment advisory services at broker Thanachart Securities in Bangkok. Thailand's worse-than-expected fourth quarter GDP growth, due to devastating flooding and expectations of weak performance for the first quarter, kept investors cautious. Gains in energy shares, which have the biggest weight on Thailand's benchmark SET index, helped drive the broad market, with top energy firm PTT Pcl, the biggest by market value, climbing 2.9 percent. PTT reported a drop of 26 percent in quarterly net profit, in line with market expectations. Investors bought the stock following its second-half dividend announcement and as good energy demand bolstered its earnings outlook. Commodities-related shares led gainers in the region along with U.S. crude prices. Singapore's Noble Group rose 1 percent while Malaysia's Sime Darby was up 0.4 percent and Indonesia's Bumi Resources gained 1 percent. In Manila, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co, the Philippines' second biggest lender by assets, jumped 3.5 percent, after Friday's 1.6 percent climb following the bank's report of a 32 percent rise in 2011 net income. In Singapore, property firms with large exposure to China were among the biggest gainers. CapitaLand Ltd rose 3.5 percent while its shopping mall unit CapitaMalls Asia added 4.8 percent. SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3021.19 3000.59 +0.69 Kuala Lumpur 1560.57 1557.15 +0.22 Bangkok 1135.92 1129.93 +0.53 Jakarta 3980.25 3976.54 +0.09 Manila 4943.84 4880.71 +1.29 Ho Chi Minh 413.98 403.30 +2.65 Change on year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 3021.19 2646.35 +14.16 Kuala Lumpur 1560.57 1530.73 +1.95 Bangkok 1135.92 1025.32 +10.79 Jakarta 3980.25 3821.99 +4.14 Manila 4943.84 4371.96 +13.08 Ho Chi Minh 413.98 351.55 +17.76 Stock Market Volume (shares) Market Current Volume Average Volume 30 days Singapore 276,374,100 396,300,220 Kuala Lumpur 114,114,900 130,299,440 Bangkok 4,117,930 4,087,885 Jakarta 2,483,719,500 3,470,272,650 Manila 161,540 123,006 Ho Chi Minh 48,955 39,327