PSEi jumps on rate outlook

Posted at 06/20/2014 5:56 PM

BANGKOK - The Philippine main index rose on Friday as a higher interest rate outlook lifted banking shares while Vietnam's benchmark eased in low volume but a dong devaluation bolstered selective buying.

The Philippine central bank tightened policy for the third straight meeting on Thursday, surprising markets by raising the rate on special deposits in a bid to contain liquidity growth and curb inflation pressures.

"As early as the next policy meeting, we may see a 25 bps rate hike in the key overnight borrowing rate. Clearly, the central bank is a little concerned with regards to rising inflationary pressures in the economy," broker DBS said in a report.

Shares of Bank of the Philippines jumped 2.2 percent to a near one-month high while Metropolitan Bank & Trust gained 2 percent to its highest in more than a week.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index closed at 6,730.96, up 0.47 percent, trimming its loss so far in the week to 0.7 percent.

In Hanoi, shares of Thien Nam Trading Import Export Corp surged 6.5 percent, the top percentage gainer on the benchmark VN Index.

The VN index edged down 0.13 percent, adding on the weakness on Thursday, and taking its loss so far in the week to 1.2 percent.

Vietnam devalued its currency for the first time in a year in what analysts said was an effort to prop up its economy and support exports.

"The 1 percent depreciation is within the committed 2 percent range by State Bank of Vietnam ... Fundamentally, it does not impact much. It makes sense to depreciate the dong slightly to further support exports," said Nguyen Vu Ngoc Trinh, a senior fund manager of Manulife Asset Management (Vietnam) Co.

Share markets elsewhere in Southeast Asia were range-bound while an index of global stocks nestled near record highs on Friday as markets wagered monetary policy would stay super loose in the United States, Europe and Japan for a long time to come.