SE Asia Stocks-Mostly up; Philippines jumps most in nearly 3 weeks
JAKARTA, April 7 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday on higher oil prices and easing concerns about an April U.S. interest rate increase following cautious comments by policy makers in the U.S. Federal Reserve minutes. The Philippine index rose 0.7 percent, its biggest single-day percentage gain in nearly three weeks. Shares of oil company Petron Corp led the rally with a gain of 3.53 percent, their largest since March 23. Malaysia rose 0.4 percent, while Vietnam gained 0.7 percent, supported by food and energy shares. Oil prices extended gains on inventory concerns and dollar weakness, lending support to energy-based stocks. "The release of the minutes of the Fed's March FOMC meeting showed that some members of the committee favour an April interest rate hike while most urged caution in the face of financial uncertainty," said Taye Shim, head of research at KDB Daewoo Securities Indonesia. Indonesia closed slightly lower, dragged down by profit-taking in the country's biggest listed company, cigarette maker PT HM Sampoerna Tbk. The stock fell 1.5 percent, after gaining 4 percent in the previous two sessions. After market hours on Thursday, HM Sampoerna said it would conduct a stock split to increase its liquidity and attract more retail investors. Thailand's SET Index fell 1.2 percent on Thursday, its fifth straight session of falls, as Goldman Sachs cuts target prices for several banking stocks, including Bangkok Bank Pcl and Siam Commercial Bank Pcl. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev close Pct move Singapore 2813.59 2811.25 0.08 Kuala Lumpur 1724.29 1717.01 0.42 Bangkok 1356.69 1373.59 -1.23 Jakarta 4867.28 4868.23 -0.02 Manila 7232.97 7180.55 0.73 Ho Chi Minh 571.6 567.79 0.67 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct move Singapore 2813.59 2882.73 -2.40 Kuala Lumpur 1724.29 1692.51 1.88 Bangkok 1356.69 1288.02 5.33 Jakarta 4867.285 4593.008 5.97 Manila 7232.97 6952.08 4.04 Ho Chi Minh 571.6 579.03 -1.28 (Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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