SE Asia Stocks-Higher ahead of ECB meeting; Philippines down
By Rushil Dutta July 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks closed higher on Monday ahead of a policy meeting by the European Central Bank later this week, but the Philippine index snapped six sessions of gains as investor focus shifted to the local market debut of a Mexican cement maker. Investors across the board are keeping an eye out for ECB President Mario Draghi, who is likely to plead for governments to do more to boost the euro zone's economy in a meeting on Thursday. Governments in China, Japan and Britain have already started easing their fiscal stance or hinted at plans to do so. "After six strong days of climb recently, the U.S. investors are taking a breather. Likewise, Asian stocks are also locking their gains since a week ago," said Cheng Hooi Lee, an analyst with Malaysia-based Maybank Investment Bank. The Philippine index ended 0.6 percent lower, as a strong market debut by Cemex Holdings Philippines, the Philippines' second-biggest cement maker by market value, took centrestage. Shares of the cement maker, majority owned by Mexico's Cemex SAB de CV, rose as much as 5.7 percent from the 10.75 pesos set in the Philippines' biggest initial public offering (IPO) in three years, which raised 25.13 billion pesos ($536.79 million). "Most of the attention is on the new listing... That would explain why others are more flat than usual," said Joseph Roxas, president of Manila-based Eagle Equities. Property developers and telecom stocks fell, with Bloomberry Resorts Corp and Megaworld Corp being the biggest losers. Vietnam's main index finished 1.4 percent higher, snapping two sessions of losses, helped by consumer and energy stocks. Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp gained 1.6 percent. Indonesian stocks gained 0.3 percent led by utilities and energy stocks. Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) Tbk PT surged to a nine-month high. Singapore and Malaysia also ended marginally higher. Thailand stock markets are closed on Monday and Tuesday for national holidays. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2928.76 2925.35 0.12 Manila 7986.25 8030.06 -0.55 Jakarta 5127.501 5110.178 0.34 Kuala Lumpur 1670.84 1668.4 0.15 Ho Chi Minh 673.5 664.56 1.35 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2928.76 2882.73 1.60 Manila 7986.25 6952.08 14.88 Jakarta 5127.501 4593.008 11.64 Kuala Lumpur 1670.84 1692.51 -1.28 Ho Chi Minh 673.5 579.03 16.32 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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