January 2, 2018 / 10:14 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore hits near 3-wk high on growth data

    By Aditya Soni
    Jan 2 (Reuters) - Singapore shares climbed nearly 1
percent on Tuesday, buoyed by data showing the city-state's
economy grew last year at its fastest pace since 2014, while
Indonesia reversed course to end lower after touching a
record high. 
    The Singapore index closed at its highest since Dec.
14, with financials leading the gainers. Index heavyweight DBS
Group Holdings Ltd was up 1.4 percent, while
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd rose 0.8 percent.
    "Today's data affirm that the recovery is broadening out,"
said Irvin Seah, an economist at DBS Bank. "The services sector
is likely to take over from the manufacturing sector as the main
engine of growth in 2018."
    Although advance estimates showed Singapore's economic
growth slowing in the fourth quarter as factories lost steam, a
services sector recovery has bolstered expectations the central
bank could tighten monetary policy as early as April. 
    The affluent-state's full-year growth came in at the top end
of the government's official 3.0-3.5 percent forecast range, its
fastest expansion in three years.
    In Indonesia, shares closed down 0.3 percent,
dragged down by financials and stocks of telecommunication
services providers. It hit a record high earlier in the session.
    Bank Mandiri lost 1.9 percent, while clove
cigarettes maker Gudang Garam fell 2.7 percent. 
    Malaysia snapped three consecutive sessions of
gains, led by consumer staples and telecommunication services. 
    "This is most likely the reaction towards strong share
prices in the previous (trading) days," said Jolynn Kek,
investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. "It's only the
first day of trading for the year, so it's hard to say (if) it's
indicative of a longer term trend." 
    Sime Darby Plantation Bhd slumped 8.5 percent,
while Malayan Banking Bhd slipped 1.4 percent.
    Vietnam shares rose for a seventh straight session to
end at their highest since November 2007, with financial stocks
     BIDV climbed to a more than two-year high, while
VPBank hit a record high.
    Stock markets in Thailand and the Philippines
were closed for a holiday.                          
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on day                                
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3430.3    3402.92         0.80
 Jakarta            6339.238  6355.654        -0.26
 Kuala Lumpur       1782.7    1796.81         -0.79
 Ho Chi Minh        995.77    984.24          1.17
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3430.3    3402.92         0.80
 Jakarta            6339.238  6,355.65        -0.26
 Kuala Lumpur       1782.7    1796.81         -0.79
 Ho Chi Minh        995.77    984.24          1.17

 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by
Liz Lee from Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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