April 18, 2018 / 4:27 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most track Wall St higher; S'pore hits 1-mth high

    * S'pore, Philippines up over 1 pct each
    * Asian shares ex-Japan rise for first session in 5

    By Nikhil Nainan
    April 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian shares rose in
line with broader Asia on Wednesday after upbeat corporate
earnings on Wall Street boosted investor confidence. 
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 rose 0.4 percent after four straight sessions of
losses.
    U.S. stock indexes rallied overnight on strong earnings from
blue-chip companies, fuelling optimism about what is expected to
be the strongest earnings season in seven years.
    In a surprise move late on Tuesday, the People's Bank of
China said it will reduce the cash banks hold as reserves, a
move that frees up lending for small firms, but falls short of
broad monetary easing.
    "One key development from China ... they cut reserve
requirement ratios ... I think that was a positive sentiment
spillover for emerging markets as a whole," said Taye Shim, head
of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas in Indonesia.
    Indonesian shares rose 0.4 percent, aided by gains
in telecom company Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk
Perusahaan Perseroan PT and Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT
.
    Philippine shares jumped 1.2 percent and were on
track to snap three consecutive sessions of losses.
    Index heavyweights Ayala Corp and BDO Unibank Inc
, up 3.3 percent and 2.9 percent respectively, lifted
the index.
    Singapore shares climbed 1.3 percent to a one-month
high led by financials.
    Top lenders United Overseas Bank Ltd, DBS Group
Holdings Ltd and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
Ltd rose between 1.6 percent and 2.4 percent. 
    Across the border, Malaysian shares edged slightly
lower as the country's consumer price index in March
rose at its slowest pace in nearly two years, government data
showed.
    Top telecom stocks Axiata Group Bhd, Telekom
Malaysia Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd suffered
losses.
    Financials were the top gainers in Thailand's, up
0.4 percent, following the cabinet's approval on Tuesday to
offer tax incentives to encourage mergers among the country's
commercial banks.
    Krung Thai Bank PCL gained 2.8 percent, while
Krungthai Card PCL soared 4.8 percent.
    
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0424 GMT                               
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3543.38   3498.2          1.29
 Bangkok                1763.21   1755.53         0.44
 Manila                 7814.64   7723.39         1.18
 Jakarta                6309.685  6285.762        0.38
 Kuala Lumpur           1876.99   1880.49         -0.19
 Ho Chi Minh            1152.02   1153.28         -0.11
                                                  
 Change on year                                   
 Market                 Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore              3543.38   3402.92         4.13
 Bangkok                1763.21   1753.71         0.54
 Manila                 7814.64   8558.42         -8.69
 Jakarta                6309.685  6355.654        -0.72
 Kuala Lumpur           1876.99   1796.81         4.46
 Ho Chi Minh            1152.02   984.24          17.05
 

 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan; Editing by Vyas Mohan)
  
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