SE Asia Stocks-Close higher as Brexit concerns ease
By Anusha Ravindranath June 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks rose on Friday, in line with Asian markets, as concerns over Britain's exit from the European Union receded after the campaign for next week's referendum was put on hold following the killing of a pro-EU lawmaker on Thursday. Jo Cox, 41, a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party and a vocal advocate for Britain remaining in the EU, was attacked while preparing to meet constituents in Birstall near Leeds in northern England. The rival referendum campaign groups said they were suspending activities for the day, with the Remain camp saying its activities would also be suspended on Friday. "Event risks around Brexit seem to have subsided, thus giving a bit of automatic lift to the equity markets," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist with Singapore-based Mizuho Bank Ltd. "Oil prices are rising in tandem with the bit of the risk aversion or some of the caution coming off." Crude oil prices rose on Friday for the first time in seven days as markets took a breather from concerns about the impact of Britain's possible exit from the European Union. The Philippine stock index closed 0.8 percent higher, with consumer non-cyclicals such as LT Group Inc and Universal Robina Corp leading the gainers. It rose 1.5 percent on the week. "I think cautiousness is still there. Markets could remain on the lookout for possible outcomes of the Brexit situation," Charles Ang, an analyst with COL Financial, said. "Market volume has been down recently, although the index has gone up for the past 2 or 3 days." Singapore shares closed marginally higher, as oil and gas stocks gained. Keppel Corp Ltd rose 1.4 percent. The index lost 2.1 percent over the week. Thai markets rose 0.7 percent, led by consumer non-cyclicals. Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL rose 4.6 percent. It was down 0.6 percent on the week. Indonesia edged up after it closed flat in the previous session. Bank Indonesia cut its key rates by 25 basis points in a surprise move that came after Jakarta markets closed on Thursday. The country's central bank said on Friday that it would ease monetary policy further if there is room to do so. "The interest rate cut came as a surprise for the Indonesian market and it highlights the severity of the current domestic economic slowdown," said Harry Su, an analyst with Bahana Securities. Bucking the trend, Vietnam shares closed nearly 1 percent lower. It lost 1.7 percent over the week. Earlier, Asian shares rose but were set for weekly losses, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.6 percent, but on track for a weekly loss of 2.7 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2763.42 2751.56 0.43 Bangkok 1421.32 1411.19 0.72 Manila 7622.07 7564.47 0.76 Jakarta 4835.143 4814.391 0.43 Kuala Lumpur 1624.18 1614.9 0.57 Ho Chi Minh 619.25 625.11 -0.94 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2763.42 2882.73 -4.14 Bangkok 1421.32 1288.02 10.35 Manila 7622.07 6952.08 9.64 Jakarta 4835.143 4593.008 5.27 Kuala Lumpur 1624.18 1692.51 -4.04 Ho Chi Minh 619.25 579.03 6.95 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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