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Vietnam stock gains on EU trade pact hopes; Thailand drops

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 17:17 GMT+7
Vietnam stock gains on EU trade pact hopes; Thailand drops
A investor looks at stock market screens at a securities company in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 20, 2016. Photo: Reuters

Vietnam equities ended higher on Friday boosted by positive cues from an impending free trade pact with the European Union, while Thai markets dropped in overall subdued trade across Southeast Asia ahead of U.S. economic growth data.

A string of solid numbers has led analysts to revise upwards their outlook for U.S. growth and the latest median polled by Reuters is for an annualised 2.0 percent.

A strong reading could result in heavy foreign fund outflows for regional risk assets. Vietnam's benchmark closed about 0.6 percent higher in broad based gains, as investors took positive cues from a free trade pact to be signed with the European Union by June end.

Real estate and financial stocks led gains, with Vinhomes JSC and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam ending up 2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Joint Stock Commercial Bank was also bolstered after it said it was targeting nearly 9 percent growth in its 2019 profit.

The benchmark index gained about 1.4 percent for the week, outpacing its regional peers.

Indonesian stocks shrugged off initial weakness to end 0.4 percent higher, snapping two straight sessions of heavy losses.

By Thursday's close, the Jakarta index had lost about 1.4 percent over two sessions after a sell-off in consumer stocks bled into other sectors.

Financials and telecommunication stocks led gains for the day, with Bank Danamon Indonesia Tbk PT and Telekomunikasi Indonesia ending 4.7 percent and 2.1 percent higher, respectively.

For the week, Indonesian stocks shed 1.6 percent, their worst weekly drop since early-March.

On the other hand, the Thai index ended about 0.4 percent down, as heavyweight oil and gas producers PTT and Thai Oil were undercut by a retraction in oil prices.

Total Access Communication was the biggest drag on the benchmark after its first-quarter results were seen as lower than expected.

"The 1Q19 results were below our forecast and the consensus by 4 percent and 10 percent, respectively," local brokerage KT-ZMICO said in a research note. The Thai index snapped three straight weeks of gains this week and ended 0.4 percent lower.



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