SE Asia Stocks-Philippine near 9-month high on earnings hopes
HANOI, April 21 (Reuters) - Philippine shares closed near a nine-month high on expectations of good corporate earnings and the government's revised infrastructure spending plan while most other Southeast Asian stock markets edged up on Monday. The Philippines benchmark SE Composite Index surpassed its 6680-point critical resistance level, bolstered by positioning from both foreign and local institutions ahead of first-quarter corporate earnings, said Manny Cruz, a market strategist at Asiasec Equities. "Indications reveal that earnings may surpass the 7-percent consensus estimate for earnings in all sectors... A lot of companies may be posting significant growth this year," Manny said. Appetite was also boosted by a recent revised infrastructure plan by the Philippine government, under which it raised its target for poverty incidence by 2016 to a more realistic level. "The government would like to be more aggressive over the next two years to pump-prime the economy in terms of infrastructure spending," Manny added. Philippine shares jumped 1.44 percent to end at 6767.51 points, the highest level since July 25, 2013, led by telecom firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co which rose 3.57 percent. Thursday's gains lifted the index to make it Southeast Asia's best performer so far this year, Reuters data showed. Stocks in Malaysia and Singapore also inched up despite thin trade, and Bangkok's SET Index marked a fourth straight gain to close at a fresh five-month high. But shares in Indonesia drifted lower by 0.1 percent and Vietnam's benchmark VN Index was near a 10-week low as investors cut losses on expectations of further declines. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 421.26 421.13 +0.03 Singapore 3255.83 3253.80 +0.06 Kuala Lumpur 1862.93 1852.69 +0.55 Bangkok 1413.07 1409.18 +0.28 Jakarta 4892.29 4897.05 -0.10 Manila 6767.51 6671.18 +1.44 Ho Chi Minh 558.14 565.33 -1.27 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 421.26 388.37 +8.47 Singapore 3255.83 3167.43 +2.79 Kuala Lumpur 1862.93 1866.96 -0.22 Bangkok 1413.07 1298.71 +8.81 Jakarta 4892.29 4274.18 +14.46 Manila 6767.51 5889.83 +14.90 Ho Chi Minh 558.14 504.63 +10.60 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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