SE Asia Stocks-Thai rebounds on GDP data; Indonesia hits 2-1/2-mth low
May 16 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian indexes were flat to higher on Monday, with Thai stocks rebounding after first-quarter GDP grew faster than expected, while Indonesia closed lower as concerns over weak corporate earnings hit sentiment. Thai stocks closed slightly higher after Southeast Asia's second-largest economy outpaced expectations in the first quarter to expand at the fastest annual rate in three years. Indonesian stocks however closed at a two-and-a-half month low, dragged down by consumer staples. Unilever Indonesia lost 3 percent. "We are hearing rumours that first quarter earnings are expected to drop on a y-o-y comparison, which collectively is weighing down on the corporate earnings outlook," said Taye Shim, an analyst with KDB Daewoo Indonesia. The Philippine index meanwhile extended gains from Friday to hit a fresh 9-month high as investor sentiment remained buoyant after maverick mayor Rodrigo Duterte emerged as the president-elect last week. "President-elect Rodrigo Duterte disclosed his economic agenda upon his transition late last week, which had been taken positively by the market," said Luz Lorenzo of brokerage Maybank Kim Eng. The Philippine main index closed 1 percent higher, led by consumer staples. It gained 6.4 percent last week on hopes Duterte would continue pro-business economic policies that are good for markets. "The stocks have been rising all day and it's still politics related. There is still residual thankfulness that the elections went smoothly," she said. Vietnam's benchmark index snapped two straight sessions of losses after the country posted a trade surplus in April, better than government estimates. Energy stocks led the gainers as oil prices jumped to a 2016 high after Goldman Sachs said the market had flipped into deficit. Asian stocks posted modest gains, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rising 0.4 percent. STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2736.06 2734.91 0.04 Bangkok 1397.63 1394.69 0.21 Manila 7511.74 7436.79 1.01 Jakarta 4731.562 4761.715 -0.63 Kuala Lumpur 1621.21 1628.26 -0.43 Ho Chi Minh 615.78 610.82 0.81 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2736.06 2882.73 -5.09 Bangkok 1397.6 1288.02 8.51 Manila 7511.74 6952.08 8.05 Jakarta 4731.562 4593.008 3.02 Kuala Lumpur 1621.21 1692.51 -4.21 Ho Chi Minh 615.78 579.03 6.35 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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