SE Asia Stocks-Higher; Philippines, Malaysia recoup early losses

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 23, 2016 15:40 hrs

By Aparajita Saxena Nov 23 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks were skittish on Wednesday, but managed to end higher after the Philippines and Malaysia reversed early-session losses, tracking buoyant Asian peers that rose on strong overnight gains on Wall Street. Most markets were lacklustre as investors shrugged off risky emerging markets for safer bets following robust performance from Wall Street's three main stock indexes that ended at record highs for a second straight day on Tuesday. "There's divergence right now between the U.S. and emerging markets. Capital flows are going back to the U.S. because of the expected interest rate hike (by the Federal Reserve), and Donald Trump's political agenda that is expected to boost U.S. yields," said Ralph Bodollo, an equity research analyst with RCBC Securities. "For me, it's all about valuations (of Southeast Asian markets). If the selling reaches a certain point where valuations are already attractive, I think there will be a short-term relief rally," he added. Philippine shares ended half-a-percent higher, after having fallen 1.2 percent in the morning, snapping two sessions of losses. Industrials outperformed, led by gains in index heavyweight JG Summit Holdings Inc. Indonesia also pared losses to close slightly higher for a second session. The gains were supported by consumer staples, with Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT up 1.6 percent. Singapore outperformed other regional markets to end 0.6 percent higher, following data that showed its headline consumer price index fell in October. The city-state's big three banks, DBS Holdings United Overseas Bank Ltd and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, posted mild gains. Malaysian shares, which had dropped in early trade, ended slightly higher, with financials losing the most after the central bank kept its policy rate at 3 percent on Wednesday, as expected. The bank said it expects periods of volatility in regional financial and foreign exchange markets due to global uncertainties. Malaysia's second-largest lender by assets, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, led losses on the index, while diversified conglomerate Sime Darby was the biggest gainer. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Close Pct Move Singapore 2839.69 2822.2 0.62 Bangkok 1496.36 1485.68 0.72 Manila 6836.64 6802.73 0.50 Jakarta 5211.996 5204.674 0.14 Kuala Lumpur 1630.38 1629.32 0.07 Ho Chi Minh 683.16 681.91 0.18 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2839.69 2882.73 -1.49 Bangkok 1496.36 1288.02 16.18 Manila 6836.64 6952.08 -1.66 Jakarta 5211.996 4593.008 13.48 Kuala Lumpur 1630.38 1692.51 -3.67 Ho Chi Minh 683.16 579.03 17.98 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Krishna V Kurup; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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