SE Asia Stocks-Philippines snaps 2 days of gains on profit-taking; Thai up
By Shashwat Pradhan May 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks were mostly flat to higher on Thursday, but the Philippine index snapped two sessions of nearly 6 percent gains on profit-taking and ahead of a central bank decision on interest rates later in the day. Asian markets fell on Thursday, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.3 percent after Wall Street suffered its worst day since February following downbeat quarterly retail reports. The Philippine stock index fell more than 1 percent at 0501 GMT on profit-taking, dragged down by financial and industrial stocks. The index rose 5.8 percent over the past two days after an unofficial count of votes by an election commission-accredited watchdog showed firebrand mayor Rodrigo Duterte had won Monday's presidential election, ending months of uncertainty for investors. Ten of 11 economists surveyed by Reuters said the Philippine central bank will leave the overnight borrowing rate at 4.0 percent, where it has been for 20 months. Grace Aller at AP Securities in Manila said the Philippine market was merely correcting after the strong rally of the past two days. Aller said the price-to-earnings multiple, or P/E ratio, for the index was high compared to peers but the rally was evidence that investors were using the opportunity to buy stocks at a cheaper price. The Thai SET Index rose led by consumer stocks, with Thailand's largest meat and feed producer, Charoen Pokphand Foods, rising as much as 6.7 percent to its highest since Jan. 2015 following strong earnings. Jakarta was up marginally, led by consumer stocks, after a Bank Indonesia survey showed retail sales in March grew 11.6 percent. Gudang Garam Tbk, Indonesia's second-biggest cigarette maker by market value, rose as much as 3.9 percent to a record high. For Asian Companies click; STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2732.37 2732.87 -0.02 Bangkok 1385.42 1382.41 0.22 Manila 7310.1 7396.52 -1.17 Jakarta 4819.032 4799.964 0.40 Kuala Lumpur 1644.91 1644.58 0.02 Ho Chi Minh 615.68 614.06 0.26 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2732.37 2882.73 -5.22 Bangkok 1385.42 1288.02 7.56 Manila 7310.1 6952.08 5.15 Jakarta 4819.032 4593.008 4.92 Kuala Lumpur 1644.91 1692.51 -2.81 Ho Chi Minh 615.68 579.03 6.33 (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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