SE Asia Stocks-Stimulus prospects buoy markets; Vietnam up 2.5 pct
By Shashwat Pradhan July 13 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks rallied on Wednesday in line with Asian peers as prospects of solid U.S. growth and further monetary stimulus in major markets whetted investor risk appetite, with the Vietnam index hitting its highest in more than 8 years. "There is quite a bit of optimism about policy stimulus in the pipeline. They are looking at BOJ (Bank of Japan) prepping to do more. They are expecting the BOE (Bank of England) to do something tomorrow," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist with Mizuho Corporate Bank in Singapore. "So, there is an entire lineup of monetary and fiscal policy stimulus." Markets are simmering with speculation that the BOJ will cut its inflation forecasts and expand its already massive stimulus programme at a July 28-29 rate review, as a hit to exports from a strong yen and weak consumption has added to downward pressure on the economy and prices. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday that a hit to Britain's economy from the Brexit referendum could prompt the Bank to act, hinting again that more stimulus is on the way. The BOE is due to announce whether it has cut rates or taken other action on Thursday. Robust jobs data from the U.S. last week has also bolstered views that the U.S. economy is on a sound footing despite a slow start to the year. Vietnam climbed 2.5 percent to its highest since Feb. 2008, with sentiment boosted after state oil group PetroVietnam raised the country's 2016 crude oil output target to about 17 million tonnes, higher than previously expected. Philippine shares extended gains for a fourth straight session to close at a more-than 1-year high following a positive ruling by an international arbitration court over its claims in the South China Sea. Indonesia also ended at a more than 1-year high, driven by telecom and consumer stocks. Malaysia closed at more than 1-month high after its central bank surprised markets by cutting the key interest rate for the first time in seven years in a bid to keep the country on a "steady growth path". Asian shares rose, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbing as much as 0.4 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 2910.65 2901.82 0.30 Bangkok 1477.61 1474.92 0.18 Manila 7944.02 7937.95 0.08 Jakarta 5133.933 5099.533 0.67 Kuala Lumpur 1660.39 1653.97 0.39 Ho Chi Minh 675.12 658.9 2.46 Change so far this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2910.65 2882.73 0.97 Bangkok 1477.61 1288.02 14.72 Manila 7944.02 6952.08 14.27 Jakarta 5133.933 4593.008 11.78 Kuala Lumpur 1660.39 1692.51 -1.90 Ho Chi Minh 675.12 579.03 16.59 (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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