World Economy

SE Asia Markets Rally, Philippines Hits Record High

SE Asia Markets Rally, Philippines Hits Record High SE Asia Markets Rally, Philippines Hits Record High

Southeast Asian markets rose on Friday tracking broader Asia after Wall Street scaled a new peak on optimism over US tax reform plans, with Philippine shares gaining over 1% to a fresh high.

The S&P 500 posted its sixth straight record high close on Thursday, its longest run since 1997, as investors cheered increased prospects for a tax overhaul with the US Congress moving closer to agreement on a budget resolution, Fin24 reported.

In a procedural step forward, the Republican-controlled house of representatives approved a fiscal 2018 spending blueprint to help advance an eventual tax bill.

In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares rose as much as 1.4% to an all-time high, led by gains in industrials. The index is on track for a fifth session of gains in six. Index heavyweights SM Investments Corp rose 2.2% to an all-time high while JG Summit was up 4.8%.

“Even with foreign selling, we were able to reach new highs in the past few weeks on the strength of local buying alone,” said Jeffrey Lucero, an equity analyst at Manila-based RCBC Securities.

The consumer price index in the Philippines rose 3.4% in September, above economists’ forecast of a 3.2% rise, but was still within the central bank’s forecast of 2.8-3.6% for that month. The Jakarta stock index rose marginally, buoyed by material and energy stocks.

Cement manufacturer Semen Indonesia climbed 2.4% while Adaro Energy rose 2.5%. The index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.1%.

Singapore shares were up 0.5% with real estate and financial stocks leading the gains. UOL Group Ltd rose nearly 4% to a record high, its biggest jump in over three month, while Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd added 0.7 in early trade.

Malaysia stocks recovered from losses in the previous session and rose marginally, helped by telecom and industrial stocks. Digi.Com and Sime Derby rose 0.8% and 0.1%, respectively.

Thai equities gained 0.4%, and were on track for their second straight session of gains, bolstered by energy and consumer staple stocks. Thai Oil Pcl rose as much as 4.5% to hit a near 10-year peak while CP All Pcl was up 1.5%.

Meanwhile, Tokyo’s Nikkei ended the morning session 0.3% higher, while Hong Kong added 0.2% putting it on course for its highest finish in 10 years. Sydney put on 0.7%.

Comments from International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde that “the long-awaited global recovery is taking root” provided for further optimism.

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