SE Asia Stocks-Gain on surge in oil price; Thailand gains to 3-wk high
Jan 25 (Reuters) - All Southeast Asian shares rose on Monday as a cold spell in parts of the northern hemisphere pushed oil prices higher, with Thailand rising to more than three-week high led by energy shares. The bounce in oil prices lured investors back into the battered regional markets. The Thai share index gained as much as 1.2 percent to its highest since Jan. 4 before retreating to trade 0.6 percent higher at 0754 GMT. The country's top oil firm PTT and PTT Exploration and Production led the rally with a gain of 2.8 percent and 6.7 percent respectively. "The major factor for positive sentiment is surging of oil prices. That lifted large-cap energy and banking sector shares," said Teerada Charnyingyong, analyst, Phillip Capital, Bangkok. She said expected stimulus from China, Europe, and Japan also helped boost the sentiment. The Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan will hold policy meetings this week; with the Fed meeting being scheduled for Jan. 26-27 and BOJ gathering on Jan. 28-29. Investors will look for hints on when the Fed intends to make a second interest rate hike, while there is speculation that the BOJ might opt for additional easing measures. Crude oil futures extended gains in Asia on Monday following a 10 percent surge at the end of last week on short-covering and fuel demand triggered by freezing weather in parts of the northern hemisphere. Vietnam surged 3.8 percent in its biggest intra-day climb since March 2012, helped by a rise in oil prices and positive sentiment about the ongoing Communist Party congress, analysts said. Philippines jumped 3.6 percent, Jakarta Composite Index was up 1.2 percent, and Kuala Lumpur composite index traded 1.5 percent higher. Singapore was up 0.6 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0754 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2591.62 2577.09 +0.56 Bangkok 1275.72 1268.03 +0.62 Manila 6434.08 6208.05 +3.64 Jakarta 4508.310 4456.744 +1.16 Kuala Lumpur 1625.21 1600.92 +1.52 Ho Chi Minh 542.04 522.24 +3.79 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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