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SE Asia Stocks-Manila at record high ahead of rate cut, most others retreat
March 1, 2012 / 10:21 AM / 6 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Manila at record high ahead of rate cut, most others retreat

 * Philippine touches new all-time high; banks jump
 * Singapore, Indonesia edge down amid profit taking
 By Viparat Jantraprap	
 BANGKOK, March 1 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit an
all-time high on Thursday on expectations the central bank would
cut interest rates to boost the economy, but most other
Southeast Asian stock markets succumbed to profit taking as
investors locked in some of this year's strong gains.	
 The Philippine main index ended the day up 0.8
percent, after surging more than 2 percent at one point to an
intraday record high of 5,011.09 points.	
 As expected, the central bank cut its main policy rate by 25
basis points after the market close to a record low of 4 percent
to help cushion the domestic economy from the global slowdown.	
 Bank shares saw strong gains on hopes lower rates would
boost demand for loans and spur earnings growth. Top lender Bank
of the Philippine Islands ended nearly 5 percent higher
and second-ranked Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co rose 3.7
 "The market anticipated another rate cut and we've seen a
lot of buying into banks," said Ira Ganhin, an analyst with
Manila-based BPI Asset Management.	
 "The level of bad loans has fallen while loan growth is also
increasing. So, everything seems to be going right for the
banking sector," he said.	
 Shares in much of the rest of Asia retreated on concerns
about the global economic outlook.	
 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday put the
brakes on the recent global rally by curbing optimism about the
strength of the U.S. economic recovery, but without signalling
any further monetary easing to stimulate growth.	
 Chinese official and private-sector factory data also
reminded investors of the fragile state of the global economy,
while suggesting Beijing could avoid a hard landing.	
 Stocks in Singapore erased early gains to end 0.5
percent lower, while Indonesia's main index fell 0.58
percent after gaining 2.1 percent the previous session.	
 Malaysia also pulled back from the day's high to end
up 0.2 percent and Thailand's SET index was up 0.4
percent. Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange index rose
1 percent.	
 The MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside
Japan fell 1 percent by 1000 GMT while the MSCI
index for Southeast Asia, made up of selected
regional stocks, was down 0.6 percent.	
 The Southeast Asia index had surged more than 13 percent so
far in 2012 through Wednesday's close as hopes for some
stabilisation in Europe's debt crisis and encouraging U.S.
economic data emboldened investors to move back into riskier
 Among more actively-traded stocks, Singapore
Telecommunications Ltd lost 1.3 percent after
Wednesday's 1.3 percent rise. One trader attributed the fall to
 In Bangkok, shares in Thailand's largest convenience store
chain, CP All Pcl, fell 1.1 percent. It rose to
record high on Wednesday thanks to its expansions and the strong
outlook for domestic consumption. 	
(Additional reporting by Singapore burewau and Saranya Suksomkij
in Bangkok; Editing by Kim
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 Change on day
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          2978.84       2994.06       -0.51
 Kuala Lumpur       1573.45       1569.65       +0.24
 Bangkok            1166.64       1160.90       +0.49 
 (at 0930 GMT)
 Jakarta            3962.28       3985.21       -0.58
 Manila             4938.61       4897.65       +0.84
 Ho Chi Minh         429.95        423.64       +1.02
 Change on year
 Market             Current     End prev yr    Pct Move
 Singapore          2978.84       2646.35      +12.56
 Kuala Lumpur       1573.45       1530.73       +2.79
 Bangkok            1166.64       1025.32      +13.78
 (at 0930 GMT)
 Jakarta            3962.28       3821.99       +3.67
 Manila             4938.61       4371.96      +12.96
 Ho Chi Minh         427.95        351.55      +21.73

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