August 9, 2018 / 4:30 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines sheds early gains on lacklustre GDP data

    * Philippines hit over 12-week high earlier in the session
    * Malaysia stocks at highest in over two months

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    Aug 9 (Reuters) - Philippine stock markets on Thursday
erased early gains and declined 1.3 percent after data showed
economic growth unexpectedly slipped to near three-year lows,
while most other Southeast Asian stocks rose in line with
broader Asian peers.
    Philippine economic growth slowed sharply to 6 percent in
the second quarter from a year earlier, the statistics agency
said on Thursday, and the growth rate came in below the 6.7
percent forecast in a Reuters poll.
    Investors took a cautious stance ahead of an expected
interest rate hike at the central bank meeting later in the day.
 
   "When there is an increase in rates, it will slow down the
growth of the economy," said Paolo Ayson, an analyst at
Manila-based RCBC Securities, adding, "GDP data missing
expectations might make it harder (for the central bank) to
raise interest rates."
    Philippine shares were dragged by real estate stocks,
with SM Prime Holdings sliding as much as 2.1 percent,
while Ayala Land slipped up to 2.5 percent.   
    Malaysian stocks hit their highest in over two
months, with the utilities sector being the biggest boost.
Shares of Tenaga Nasional Bhd nudged 1.2 percent
higher.
    Indonesian stocks traded steady as gains in consumer
and energy stocks outpaced losses in financials.
    United Tractors gained as much as 1.3 percent,
while Bank Negara Indonesia slipped up to 1.2 percent.
    Vietnam shares held a firmer tone, hitting their
highest in six weeks. Vietnam's largest brewer Sabeco,
formally known as Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp, boosted the
index with a jump of 3.5 percent.
    Thai shares rose to an eight-week high, with banks
Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikornbank 
gaining 1.4 percent each. The bourse was in line for a third
straight session of gains.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 rose 0.5 percent after edging lower in early
trade.
    Singapore was closed for a holiday.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0416 GMT
 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Bangkok         1725.03   1721.64         0.20
 Manila          7779.03   7851.46         -0.92
 Jakarta         6096.839  6094.829        0.03
 Kuala Lumpur    1809.88   1804.73         0.29
 Ho Chi Minh     970.17    966.27          0.40
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Bangkok         1725.03   1753.71         -1.64
 Manila          7779.03   8558.42         -9.11
 Jakarta         6096.839  6355.654        -4.07
 Kuala Lumpur    1809.88   1796.81         0.73
 Ho Chi Minh     970.17    984.24          -1.43
 

 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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