SE Asia Stocks-Rally as Brexit concerns wane
By Anusha Ravindranath June 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks rose on Monday, in line with Asian peers, as increased possibility of Britain remaining in the European Union lifted risk appetite across the board. Britons will cast their votes this Thursday in a referendum on whether to quit the EU. The implied probability of a British vote to remain in the European Union rose to 72 percent on Monday, up from a range between 60 and 67 percent on Friday, according to Betfair betting odds. Three opinion polls ahead of Thursday's vote also showed the 'Remain' camp recovering some momentum, although the overall picture remained one of an evenly split electorate. "Perception is that the British public is likely to vote in favour of remaining in the EU. If that is the case, it would remove the overhang of risk in the markets," said Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, an analyst with Religare Capital Markets in Singapore. There were fears that a "no" vote would be disruptive to the markets and that seems to have dissipated, he added. Safe-haven assets and currencies like gold, government bonds and the yen retreated, while higher oil prices bolstered investor sentiment. Singapore stocks closed more than 1 percent higher, led by oil and gas stocks, as a weaker dollar and easing worries over Britain's possible exit from the EU helped support crude prices. Keppel Corp Ltd rose 2.2 percent, while Sembcorp Industries Ltd gained 3.3 percent. The Philippine market closed 0.6 percent higher, with consumer cyclicals such as SM Investments Corp and Bloomberry Resorts Corp leading the gainers. "We are nearing our presidential inauguration. Things are looking more positive for the Philippines," said Joseph Roxas, an analyst with Eagle Equities. "There is a lot of hope in the incoming president." Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is to begin a six-year term on June 30. The new economic team under Duterte on Monday promised changes to boost infrastructure, fix traffic woes, improve investment frameworks and maintain the country's robust economic growth. Vietnam was up more than 1 percent, as oil and gas stocks such as Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp rose, while Indonesia ended higher, helped by energy shares. Earlier, Asian stocks gained, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 1.3 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2800.87 2763.42 1.36 Bangkok 1421.99 1421.32 0.05 Manila 7665.33 7622.07 0.57 Jakarta 4863.531 4835.143 0.59 Kuala Lumpur 1634.23 1624.18 0.62 Ho Chi Minh 626.46 619.25 1.16 Change so far this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2800.87 2882.73 -2.84 Bangkok 1421.99 1288.02 10.40 Manila 7665.33 6952.08 10.26 Jakarta 4863.531 4593.008 5.89 Kuala Lumpur 1634.23 1692.51 -3.44 Ho Chi Minh 626.46 579.03 8.19 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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