SE Asia Stocks-Most up; Indonesia at 7-week high after rate hike
HANOI, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose by midday on Wednesday, with the benchmark Indonesian index rising to its highest since Oct. 1 after the country's central bank raised interest rates, while banking shares lifted the Singapore index to a two-month high. Indonesia's main stock index was up 0.42 percent at 0551 GMT. Bank Indonesia on Tuesday raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent, moving quickly to contain inflation after the government hiked fuel prices by more than 30 percent. Shares of Bank Central Asia Tbk PT led the gainers with a 1.91 percent advance, followed by those of PT Kalbe Farma , Indonesia's largest pharmaceutical company, which rose 2.3 percent. Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index rose to a level unseen since Sept. 15 on gains in banking shares, with midday volumes already hovering near the full-day level of the previous session at 270 million shares, Reuters data showed. Banks in the city state are likely to have stronger earnings per share ratios and benefit from potential fund inflows from the oil and gas sector, said broker Maybank Kim Eng in a report. DBS Group Holdings Ltd and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Singapore's top two lenders, led the gains in two-thirds of the benchmark equities, rising 1.23 percent and 2.05 percent respectively. Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam also advanced, while Thailand's SET Index was range-bound after closing at a two-week high on Tuesday on an optimistic outlook for the country's construction industry. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0551 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 425.62 425.01 +0.14 Singapore 3332.63 3313.73 +0.57 Kuala Lumpur 1824.88 1818.38 +0.36 Bangkok 1580.29 1581.27 -0.06 Jakarta 5123.65 5102.47 +0.42 Manila 7284.56 7275.66 +0.12 Ho Chi Minh 594.26 594.25 0.00 * 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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