Philippine stocks outperform other SE Asia markets


President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a speech inside the Philippine Stock Exchange in Makati City, Metro Manila, on Tuesday. Philippine stocks outperformed other Southeast Asian markets on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)

Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, led by gains in Singapore, ahead of US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress later in the day.

While Yellen is expected to say that the Fed remains on a hawkish course of steadily raising rates, any signals on how the bank is viewing a retreat in inflation and muted wage growth will be closely watched.

Philippine shares outperformed other markets in Southeast Asia, rising 1 % to post their highest close in more than three weeks.

About 238,000 shares changed hands, the highest in nearly a month.

Real estate stocks led the gains with Ayala Land gaining 2.9% and SM Prime Holdings closing up 1.8%.

"I think there's general optimism in the property market," said Jeffrey Lucero, an equity research analyst with RCBC Securities.

The market may be pricing in a good results season since some companies such as Ayala Land met investors' expectations last quarter, he added.

Indonesian shares ended 0.8% higher, lifted by consumer and financial stocks, while an index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks gained 1%.

Vietnam shares rose 0.6% with oil and gas refiner Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp logging its biggest gain in more than three months.

Crude oil prices rose more than 1%, extending gains from the previous day as the US government cut its crude production outlook for next year and as fuel inventories


Malaysian shares hit their lowest in more than two-and-a-half months before recovering to end marginally higher, while the Stock Exchange of Thailand closed up 0.36%.

Meanwhile, Singapore shares closed down 0.3% after shedding as much as 0.7% to hit a six-week low earlier in the session.

"The market has performed quite well in the first half, so people are taking profits," said Joanne Goh, an equity strategist with DBS Bank Ltd.

Heavyweights DBS Group and Hongkong Land Holdings declined about 0.8% each.

Companies are due to report their quarterly results, and there are expectations that some stocks, including banks, may disappoint, she added.

"Banks are still uncertain as to whether there will be more provisions," said Goh. "So far, the net interest margins haven't picked up despite interest rates going up."

Southeast Asian stock markets





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