Philippine stocks hit fresh high, others SE Asia markets fall
Philippine shares rose to a record high on Thursday while other Southeast Asian stock markets slipped, in line with broader Asia, after the US Federal Reserve announced a plan to start shrinking its balance sheet and signalled one more rate hike later this year.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3%.
The US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but signalled it still expects one more increase by the end of the year despite a recent bout of low inflation data.
The Philippines index extended gains to a second session and ended 0.8% higher after earlier hitting an all-time high of 8,321.81.
“Philippine stocks soared once again, testing record highs in reaction to the latest Federal Open Market Committee minutes and in anticipation of the outcome of the country’s central bank meeting,” said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development Corp.
After market hours on Thursday, the Philippine central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3% as expected. The central bank also kept its inflation forecasts for 2017, saying consumer prices remain manageable and the future inflation path will stay within its target of 2-4% for the year.
In August, Philippines’ annual inflation had quickened for the second straight month to 3.1%, from 2.8% the month before, due mainly to higher food prices.
Singapore shares were down 0.1%, hurt by industrials and real estate stocks. Jardine Matheson Holdings and Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust led the decline, falling 2.4% and 1.5%, respectively.
Indonesia market was closed for a local holiday.