April 23, 2018, 7:45 am
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PSEi retreats

Most Southeast Asian stock markets took a breather on Wednesday, in line with Asian peers, with the Philippine index retreating from a record high on profit-booking.

Asia shares ex-Japan slipped 0.3 percent after six straight days of gains that had taken it within a stone’s throw from a record high touched in November 2007. 

Philippine stocks fell as much as 0.5 percent, from the previous session’s 2 percent increase, with financials and consumer staples dragging down the index.

Index heavyweight SM Prime Holdings Inc shed 0.8 percent, while JG Summit Holdings Inc lost 2 percent.

Indonesia was little changed, after earlier rising as much as 0.6 percent on gains in consumer and energy stocks.

Unilever Indonesia rose 0.9 percent, while energy stocks such as Medco Energi Internasional climbed on stronger global oil prices. 

“Recent developments...such as December inflation which beat market expectations reinforce (that) foreign investors are back in the Indonesian market,” said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas.

Indonesia’s annual inflation rate in December beat forecast, picking up pace for the first time since June as consumers shopped for year-end holidays, the statistics bureau data showed. 

“Encouraging signs from global commodity prices, especially oil that is heading north, should improve Indonesia’s government revenue as well as stimulate more inflation going forward,” added Shim.

Singapore inched 0.2 percent lower, with Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd down 2.4 percent.

Vietnam shares extended gains to a third straight session, climbing as much as 0.5 percent, to touch a more than 10-year high.

Gains were led by energy and material stocks, with Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp adding 1.6 percent and Hoa Phat Group JSC rising 0.8 percent.

The Thai index rose as much as 0.6 percent, up for a sixth session in seven.

Energy and material stocks were among the top gainers, with PTT PCL rising 2.2 percent and TOA Paint Thailand PCL up 3.3 percent. – Reuters 
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