SE Asia Stocks-Philippines snaps 2 days of gains on profit-taking; Thai up
By Shashwat Pradhan May 12 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks mostly closed higher on Thursday, but the Philippine index snapped two sessions of gains on profit-taking on a day when its central bank kept policy rates unchanged. Asian markets were down, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.4 percent after Wall Street suffered its worst day since February following downbeat quarterly retail reports The Philippine stock index ended nearly 1 percent lower 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. The Philippine central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 4.0 percent on Thursday, with growth expected to stay robust and inflation to remain subdued Grace Aller at AP Securities in Manila said the Philippine market was merely correcting after a strong rally in the past two sessions. 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 cheap. The Thai SET Index rose more than 1 percent led by energy and consumer stocks, with Thailand's largest meat and feed producer, Charoen Pokphand Foods, rising as much as 7.7 percent to its highest since Dec. 2014 following strong earnings. Singapore rose nearly half a percent, led by financial and telecom stocks. Singapore Telecommunications, Southeast Asia's largest telco, rose 1.3 percent after sources told Reuters the company is considering listing its broadband unit in a deal that could raise about $2 billion For Asian Companies click; STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2745.39 2732.87 0.46 Bangkok 1399.31 1382.41 1.22 Manila 7325.04 7396.52 -0.97 Jakarta 4803.32 4799.964 0.07 Kuala Lumpur 1648.98 1644.58 0.27 Ho Chi Minh 612.12 614.06 -0.32 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2745.39 2882.73 -4.76 Bangkok 1399.31 1288.02 8.64 Manila 7325.04 6952.08 5.36 Jakarta 4803.32 4593.008 4.58 Kuala Lumpur 1648.98 1692.51 -2.57 Ho Chi Minh 612.12 579.03 5.71 (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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