SE Asia Stocks - Malaysia posts best gain in 15 months after fuel pricing plan
BANGKOK, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian shares posted their best gain in almost 15 months on Monday as the government's fuel pricing plan allayed concerns over the country's budget deficit while Singapore retreated despite data showing inflation near a five-year low in October. Others in Southeast Asia mostly finished higher in line with Asian markets as the prospect of further policy stimulus in China and Europe whetted risk appetite globally. Kuala Lumpur's composite index rose 1.36 percent, its biggest single-day rise since Aug. 30, 2013. Shares of Sapurakencana Petroleum jumped 4.2 percent and Tenaga Nasional was up 3.7 percent, among top gainers. The ringgit also outperformed regional peers. The Malaysian bourse said foreign investors bought shares worth a net 108 million ringgit ($32.23 million), their first in four sessions. They sold a combined 157 million ringgit ($46.85 million) in three sessions from Wednesday. Malaysia will scrap subsidies for petrol and diesel from Dec. 1, the government said on Friday, a bold move that could potentially result in some 20 billion ringgit ($5.97 billion) savings annually. "The decision to float is timely as the switch should have a benign impact on inflation given that the average market price is close to the current fixed retail price ... Furthermore, the government will now have more fiscal space and more control over the fiscal deficit," CIMB said in a report. Singapore's Straits Times Index closed down 0.1 percent at 3,340.53, just shy of an intra-day low after earlier climbing to the highest since Sept. 12. Singapore's headline consumer inflation in October rose 0.1 percent from a year ago, the lowest since December 2009, compared with a Reuters poll of an increase of 0.6 percent. 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 Singapore 3340.53 3345.32 -0.14 Kuala Lumpur 1833.77 1809.13 +1.36 Bangkok 1590.14 1579.20 +0.69 Jakarta 5141.76 5112.05 +0.58 Manila 7325.13 7276.18 +0.67 Ho Chi Minh 582.53 588.03 -0.94 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move Singapore 3340.53 3167.43 +5.46 Kuala Lumpur 1833.77 1866.96 -1.78 Bangkok 1590.14 1298.71 +22.44 Jakarta 5141.76 4274.18 +20.30 Manila 7325.13 5889.83 +24.37 Ho Chi Minh 582.53 504.63 +15.44 (1 US dollar = 3.3510 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Yantoultra Ngui in KUALA LUMPUR; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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