May 9, 2017 / 10:34 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore posts 21-month closing high; others flat to lower

    By Hanna Paul
    May 9 (Reuters) - Singapore shares rose for a third straight
session on Tuesday to a 21-month closing high, aided by banking
stocks, while other Southeast Asian markets ended flat to lower
in the absence of catalysts.
    Asian stock markets edged down as investors sought the next
catalyst following the French presidential election on Sunday.

    "Asian markets await the results of South Korean
presidential elections amid a relatively quiet economic data
calendar," OCBC Bank said in a note.
    South Koreans started polling to elect a new leader and
liberal Moon Jae-in, who had lost narrowly to former President
Park Geun-hye in 2012, is widely expected to win the presidency.

    In Singapore, financials helped the benchmark stock index
 post its highest close since July 2015.
    Shares of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp rose 1.6
percent after the city-state's second-biggest lender reported a
14 percent rise in quarterly profit, in line with its peers DBS
Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank.

    The Jakarta SE Composite Index ended slightly lower,
snapping three consecutive sessions of gains, after hitting a
record high earlier in the session.
    Energy stocks were among the biggest losers with PT ABM
Investama Tbk shedding 6 percent.
    Jakarta's Christian governor was sentenced to two years in
jail for blasphemy against Islam, in a trial that was much
harsher than prosecutors had sought.
    This development, which happened when prices were at
historical highs, gave investors an excuse to lock in profits,
Mirae Asset View said in a statement.
    Philippine shares fell as investors took profits
after three straight sessions of gains.
    "We've been up for three days, so I think investors are
taking profits in stocks which hit new highs," said Richard
Llaneda of Eagle Equities.
    Conglomerate Ayala Corp closed 0.8 percent lower
after hitting an eight-month high on Monday, while property
developer SM Prime Holdings fell 0.4 percent.
    Meanwhile, Nestor Espenilla has been named as the Philippine
central bank's next governor. The much anticipated announcement
comes ahead of a policy meeting on Thursday, where the central
bank is expected to hold rates.
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        3249.97       3236.98      0.40
  Bangkok          1560.31       1568.02      -0.49
  Manila           7923.5        7962.33      -0.49
  Jakarta          5697.056      5707.862     -0.19
  Kuala Lumpur     1766.56       1768.15      -0.09
  Ho Chi Minh      722.11        718.86       0.45
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore        3249.97       2880.76      12.82
  Bangkok          1560.31       1542.94      1.13
  Manila           7923.5        6840.64      15.8
  Jakarta          5697.056      5296.711     7.56
  Kuala Lumpur     1766.56       1641.73      7.60
  Ho Chi Minh      722.11        664.87       8.6
 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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