June 19, 2017 / 10:28 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise as risk sentiment improves; Vietnam hits 9-yr high

    By Nicole Pinto
    June 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on
Monday on improved risk sentiment as investors looked past the U.S. Federal
Reserve's decision last week to raise interest rates, with Vietnam hitting at a
fresh nine-year closing high.
    The Philippines led the gainers in the region, recording its biggest
intraday gain in two weeks.
    "I think risk-on bias is coming back from the precipitation of central bank
events," said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset
    "(Major)central bank events are over, and ECB (European Central Bank) and
Federal Reserve did not provide much of a surprise to the market, which was
actually a relief. The ECB and Federal Reserve's forward looking guidance was in
line with expectations."
    Philippine shares closed 0.8 percent higher after posting their biggest
intraday gains since June 5.
    "(Rise in Philippine shares) are more in anticipation of the tax reform
measures. Much sooner than that is the state of the nation address coming up
mid-July, and then Congress will open and hopefully will immediately pass the
tax reform measures," said Joseph Roxas, an analyst with Manila-based Eagle
    The Philippines' lower house of Congress passed the much-anticipated tax
reform bill on May 31, aimed at generating revenue to fund a multi-billion
dollar infrastructure program that is key to the government's economic agenda.
    Philippine central bank revised its current account balance forecast for
this year on Friday, projecting a deficit for the first time since 2002 on
expectations of surging imports.
    Singapore shares advanced 0.5 percent, with United Overseas Bank
 and DBS Group Holdings leading the gains. 
    Vietnam shares gained 0.7 percent, hitting their highest close since
February 2008.
    Vietnam Dairy Products JSC rose 0.9 percent, while Vietnam National
Petroleum Group rose 2.2 percent.
    Meanwhile, Malaysian shares fell 0.1 percent, dragged down by the
financial and consumer staples sectors.  
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  STOCK MARKETS                                       
  Change on the                                       
  Market            Current      Previous    Pct Move
  Singapore         3247.18      3231.44     0.49
  Bangkok           1580.85      1576.58     0.29
  Manila            7943.75      7882.22     0.78
  Jakarta           5741.909     5723.636    0.32
  Kuala Lumpur      1788.9       1791.31     -0.13
 Ho Chi Minh        766.83       761.24      0.73
  Change so far                              
 this year                                   
  Market            Current      End 2016    Pct Move
  Singapore         3247.18      2880.76     12.72
  Bangkok           1580.85      1542.94     2.48
  Manila            7943.75      6840.64     15.9
  Jakarta           5741.909     5296.711    8.41
  Kuala Lumpur      1788.9       1641.73     8.96
 Ho Chi Minh        766.83       664.87      14.8

 (Reporting by Nicole Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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