Vietnam shares hit their highest close in more than nine years on Thursday with consumer staples leading the gains, while other Southeast Asian markets moved sideways in the absence of market-moving macroeconomic triggers. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.1 percent.
“Broadly I think it’s more of a mixed sentiment between profit-taking and what kind of next upside catalyst do we have,” said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
Vietnam shares rose 0.5 percent to their highest close since February 2008 and have gained 8.9 percent so far this year. Seafood processor Nam Viet Corp rose 16.4 percent, while Vietnam Dairy Products JSC gained 1.6 percent.
Thai shares closed 0.3 percent higher, helped by gains in material and real estate stocks. CIMB Thai Bank Pcl rose 4.4 percent, while Origin Property Pcl jumped 13.4 percent.
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Philippine shares edged up with industrials and consumer discretionary stocks accounting for most of the gains. Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc gained 0.2 percent, while Jollibee Foods Corp rose 3.5 percent.
Singapore shares fell 0.4 percent, hurt by losses in industrial and real estate stocks, with Jardine Cycle & Carriage and CapitaLand Ltd shedding 1.1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Both stocks were among the worst performers on the index.
Malaysian shares edged lower as consumer discretionary financials lost ground. Resorts operator Genting Malaysia Bhd fell 2.6 percent, while Malayan Banking Bhd dropped 0.6 percent. Indonesian shares closed flat after hitting a record high in the previous session.