SE Asia Stocks-Most up on China rate cut; Malaysia soars after fuel pricing plan
BANGKOK, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday amid prospects of further policy stimulus in China and Europe, with the key Malaysian index climbing to a near two-week high after the government said it would abolish fuel subsidies from December 1. Malaysia will scrap subsidies for petrol and diesel, the government said on Friday, a bold move that could potentially result in some 20 billion ringgit ($5.97 billion) savings annually. The plan should allay concerns over whether Malaysia would be able to meet its budget deficit target for 2015 and may result in international rating agencies announcing upgrades to Malaysia's sovereign credit ratings/rating outlooks, Maybank KimEng said in a report. Kuala Lumpur's composite index, which gauges moves of 30 large-cap stocks, traded up 1.1 percent at 1,828.12. It earlier hit 1,829.11, the highest since Nov. 11. Among actively traded stocks, Tenaga Nasional, the country's largest electricity utility, jumped 3.3 percent and telecoms firm Axiata Group was up 1 percent ahead of the release of quarterly earnings later in the day. Singapore's Straits Times Index hit the highest since Sept. 12, the Thai SET index hovered around a three-week high, Indonesia rose to the highest since Oct. 1 and the Philippines traded at a near two-month high. The People's Bank of China cut its benchmark interest rates for the first time in more than two years on Friday to lower borrowing costs and lift a cooling economy that is on track for its slackest annual growth in 24 years. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi threw the door wide open on Friday for more drastic measures to prevent the euro zone from sliding into deflation, promising to use whatever means necessary. The latest moves by the European Central Bank and the People's Bank of China "echoed our view that global monetary easing, ex-US Fed, continued. This should support Thai inflows but not very strongly as further rise in the dollar could cap the baht and Asian FX upside," the Bangkok-based KGI strategists wrote in a report. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.6 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0500 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3343.66 3345.32 -0.05 Kuala Lumpur 1828.12 1809.13 +1.05 Bangkok 1588.21 1579.20 +0.57 Jakarta 5141.03 5112.05 +0.57 Manila 7341.78 7276.18 +0.90 Ho Chi Minh 586.22 588.03 -0.31 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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