SE Asia Stocks-Most up after ECB easing; Philippines leads gains on week
BANGKOK, March 11 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday after the European Central Bank's policy easing lifted sentiment in the region, with the Philippines poised for its best week since late January and energy shares outperforming. The Philippine composite index was up 0.7 percent at its highest since Nov. 9, with First Gen Corp. and Energy Development Corp. among the top gainers. The index is on track for a weekly gain of nearly 3 percent. The Thai benchmark SET index advanced 0.9 percent moving close to the key 1,400 level, led by a 1.8 percent gain in PTT. Broker Krungsri Securities in Bangkok said it expected profit-taking near term. "The U.S. and European bourses did not respond positively to the ECB's larger-than-expected stimulus package which raised concerns the European economy might be worse than expected and interest rates probably will not fall further," it said in a report. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi unleashed a bold easing package on Thursday, cutting rates and expanding asset buys, but undid the very stimulus he hoped to achieve by suggesting there would be no further cuts. Gains in other sharemarkets were relatively modest as investors look forward to decisions of key global central banks next week, including the U.S. Federal Reserve. Stocks in Malaysia traded up 0.2 percent after data showed January industrial production rose a better-than-expected 3.2 percent from a year earlier due to growth in manufacturing, mining and electricity sectors. The region is set to end mixed on the week, with Singapore among the decliners after its outperformance last week when global risk appetite improved amid expectations the Fed may not raise interest rates in a meeting mid-March. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0540 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2822.76 2809.12 +0.49 Kuala Lumpur 1694.45 1690.91 +0.21 Bangkok 1391.55 1379.06 +0.91 Jakarta 4788.59 4793.20 -0.10 Manila 7099.44 7048.08 +0.73 Ho Chi Minh 578.57 575.91 +0.46 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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