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Southeast Asia stocks: Most recover; Singapore falls about 1 percent

01/22/2019 | 05:24am EDT
A Singapore Exchange (SGX) sign sits outside its premises at the central business district in Singapore

(Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets recovered from early falls to close higher on Tuesday as investors moved past a cut in global growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF predicted the global economy to grow at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020, down 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point respectively from last October's forecasts, in its World Economic Outlook report released on Monday.

"We do not believe investors are likely to overreact, given softening economic growth in China was well flagged by investors as well as a slowdown in global growth," said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas, referring to the IMF forecast.

Thai shares were the top performers in Southeast Asia, extending gains into a fifth session on healthcare and energy stocks.

Attributing the rise mainly to Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PCL, Teerada Charnyingyong, an analyst with Phillip Capital Thailand, said, "The major event is the government has been trying to control medical services and medicine prices, and it seems that the companies are proofing their principles… I think investors interpret it as good news."

Shares of Bangkok Dusit Medical, Thailand's largest hospital operator, climbed 5.1 percent, the most since June 20, 2018.

Malaysian shares <.KLSE> climbed for a third straight session and closed at their highest in more than one-and-a-half months.

Among top contributors, Axiata Group rose 1.5 percent to an over three-month closing high, while CIMB Group Holdings Bhd added 1.8 percent.

Among losers, Singapore shares <.STI> fell nearly 1 percent, hurt by telecommunication and financial stocks.

Conglomerate Keppel Corp dropped 2.1 percent, mobile operator M1 Ltd dipped 1 percent and Singapore Press Holdings declined 0.4 percent.

Earlier in the day, Keppel and Singapore Press Holdings said they would not raise their offer price to gain majority control of M1 Ltd, a move that could put pressure on Axiata Group, M1's single largest shareholder.

Financials also declined with DBS Group Holdings Ltd and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd shedding 1.8 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the city-state is expected to release inflation data for December on Wednesday. A Reuters poll showed the headline consumer price index probably rose to 0.4 percent in December from a year earlier.

Vietnam shares <.VNI> fell after the previous session's sharp gains, dragged by financial and real estate stocks.

Vietnam National Petroleum Group fell 3.3 percent, while Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam dropped 1.1 percent.

(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

By Shreya Mariam Job

ę Reuters 2019
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AXIATA GROUP 2.76% 4.09 End-of-day quote.9.36%
BANGKOK DUSIT MEDICAL SERVICES 0.00%End-of-day quote.0.00%
CIMB GROUP HOLDINGS -0.65% 4.6 End-of-day quote.6.98%
COMMERCIAL BANK FOR FOREIGN TRADE OF VIETNAM 0.19% 104200 End-of-day quote.6.44%
DBS GROUP HOLDINGS LTD -0.43% 29.77 End-of-day quote.18.89%
KEPPEL CORPORATION LIMITED 0.78% 5.14 End-of-day quote.-4.46%
LETS HOLDINGS GROUP CO., LTD. -1.79% 7.12 End-of-day quote.-8.48%
LOOK HOLDINGS INCORPORATED -3.23% 1497 End-of-day quote.56.43%
OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION LIMITED -0.58% 12.05 End-of-day quote.19.78%
SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED -1.64% 1.8 End-of-day quote.59.29%
VIETNAM NATIONAL PETROLEUM GROUP 1.25% 56700 End-of-day quote.3.85%
WILL GROUP, INC. -2.26% 993 End-of-day quote.-1.29%
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