SE Asia Stocks-Rebound; Malaysia banks up after cenbank cuts reserve ratios
BANGKOK, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian shares rose on Friday as positive policy outlook from major central banks and a bounce in oil prices lured buyers back into the battered markets, with banks actively traded in Malaysia after a cut in reserve ratios. Kuala Lumpur composite index was up 1.2 percent, recouping some losses over past two days. Shares in Public Bank and Malayan Banking gained more than 1 percent and were among top-traded stocks by turnover. Malaysia's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at 3.25 percent and unexpectedly cut the statutory reserve requirement ratio (SRR) to 3.5 percent effective Feb. 1 to add more liquidity into the banking system. The announcement came after market hours on Thursday. In Bangkok, the SET index was up 1.6 percent, its first gain in three days. "We expect the SET to adjust up today on the increased prospects of accommodating action by various central banks," said broker Asia Wealth Securities of the European Central Bank and central banks in Japan, China and the United States. "The weak data from the U.S. will also cause the Fed to be more cautious in raising rates further. All of this would allow the local bourse to close higher today." Asian stocks recovered from four-year lows thanks to hints of more monetary policy support by the European Central Bank and a rally in crude oil from 12-years lows. Singapore and the Philippines each climbed almost 2 percent, recovering from an oversold zone, while Indonesia rebounded from a more than one-month closing low on Thursday. Vietnam was slightly up. Most markets in the region are set to extend losses for a third week amid a wave of risk aversion and selldown in oil prices. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0652 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2578.07 2532.7 +1.79 Bangkok 1265.72 1245.61 +1.61 Manila 6191.34 6084.28 +1.76 Jakarta 4423.941 4414.126 +0.22 Kuala Lumpur 1619.89 1600.92 +1.18 Ho Chi Minh 523.45 521.88 +0.30 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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