By Shruti Sonal
Oct 8 (Reuters) – Thai stocks climbed 1% on Thursday as the government outlined measures to boost consumption in its coronavirus-battered economy, while a late recovery helped Philippine shares edge up in tandem with gains in most of Asia’s emerging markets.
The safe-haven U.S. dollar nursed losses after the revival of hopes for some stimulus spending in the world’s biggest economy improved investor sentiment, supporting local currencies in Asia, which edged higher. The Taiwan dollar TWD=TP was again the main standout, rising almost 1%.
Thailand’s benchmark index .SETI hit its highest in more than two weeks after officials on Wednesday added a tax deduction on purchases of goods and services to previously announced cash handouts and subsidies.
The tourism-reliant economy has also started receiving its first visitors after months of travel curbs and its markets have proven relatively immune to growing protests against the army-backed government.
“Overall, the outlook for the country’s economy in the first quarter should be better,” said Sunthorn Thongthip, a Thailand-based strategist at Kasikorn Securities.
Siam City Cement PCL SCC.BK hit a near one-month high on news that its unit was set to raise up to $1.5 billion, Thailand’s second-largest public offering this year, after pricing shares for its initial offering at the top end of its range.
Philippine stocks .PSI, which closed lower for the last three sessions, reversed losses from earlier in the session to rise more than 1%.
Nicholas Mapa, ING’s senior economist for the Philippines, attributed the reversal to bargain hunting as global sentiment improved overnight on hopes for U.S. stimulus measures.
Reports overnight of the Trump administration exploring restrictions on China’s Ant Group and Tencent Holdings 0700.HK over national security concerns weighed on sentiment in trade-reliant Singapore, said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets.
“The news can explain the negative feedback on the Singapore markets given that we have significant relations with China and most of the Chinese tech firms have set up their operational hubs in Singapore,” added Wong.
Singapore stocks .STI edged 0.1% lower.
Markets in China, the region’s biggest market and main engine of growth, will reopen after a week-long holiday on Friday.
Malaysia .KLSE, where markets have settled after the government dented opposition efforts of a takeover by winning a recent election, gained 0.7%.
** Thailand’s Siam Cement Group Packaging Pcl (SCGP) set to raise up to $1.5 billion after pricing shares for its IPO at the top end of its range in the country’s second-largest listing this year
** Philippine budget carrier Cebu Air Inc CEB.PS plans to raise roughly $500 million to weather the pandemic
** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields are up 0.5 basis point at 6.901%
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0654 GMT
(Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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