BANGKOK, Jan 18 — Thai and Indonesian stocks scaled all-time peaks this morning and Singapore notched up a 10-year top as gains on Wall Street lifted broader Asian shares.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 per cent to a historic high, after US stocks jumped overnight and the Dow closed above 26,000 for the first time.
Indonesian shares rose as much as 0.6 per cent, heading for their fourth straight session of gains.
Financials and utilities led the gains, with Bank Central Asia climbing 1.6 per cent and Perusahaan Gas Negara soaring 21.2 per cent to levels not seen since February.
Oil prices rose this morning on a reported decline in US crude inventories, and as rebels in Nigeria threatened to attack the country’s petroleum infrastructure, but crude benchmarks still stayed below recent three-year highs on ample fuel supplies.
The Thai index firmed 0.5 per cent as energy and utility stocks gained, with PTT Global Chemical climbing to a record and PTT Pcl rising 1.2 per cent.
Singapore’s shares rose as much as 0.6 per cent to their highest since December 2007 as financials and IT stocks led the gain.
The city-state’s top lenders United Overseas Bank and DBS Group Holdings rose 0.7 per cent each, while technology service provider Venture Corp climbed 2.2 per cent to its highest in 14 years.
Meanwhile, Philippines fell as much as 0.9 per cent, before trimming some of the losses, as Bank of the Philippine Islands shed 11.5 per cent and parent Ayala Corp slipped 3 per cent as BPI plans to raise up to 50 billion pesos (RM3.9 billion) via a rights offering to boost lending and support strategic initiatives.
Metrobank, the second largest Philippine lender in asset terms, also fell 3.7 per cent as it won the board’s approval to sell shares to existing stockholders.
Malaysian shares fell 0.3 per cent after the European Union approved draft measures to ban the use of palm oil, a major import from southeast Asia, in motor fuels from 2021. — Reuters