Largely up; Thailand logs best year in four

Undated, December 30
Most Southeast Asian stock markets finished higher in the last trading session of the year, with Thailand notching its sixth straight gain, and biggest yearly jump in four years. Thai shares closed 0.3 percent higher on the day, logging a yearly gain of about 20 percent, their best since 2012, on hopes of better-than-forecast economic growth in 2017. Indonesian shares finished a shade lower after gaining for most parts of the day, but posted gains of 5.4 percent for the week and 15 percent for the year. The weekly gain came on the back of optimism that the country was primed to provide significant yields in 2017 on improved fundamentals.
Singapore shares erased early gains on Friday to close lower, and slipped into red for the year at the end of the session, finishing about 2 points lower. Singapore fell for the second consecutive year and the next year does not look bright either as economic outlook for the island state remains clouded in uncertainty.
Vietnam shares gained for a fifth straight year, adding 14.8 percent, while Malaysia fell 3 percent, marking its third straight yearly decline and making it the region’s worst performer. The Philippine stock market, which was closed on Friday for a holiday, wiped off all of its gains for 2016 in the fourth quarter, finishing the year 1.6 percent lower. The Philippines lost 10.4 percent in the December quarter, making it the worst hit regional market on capital flight fears following Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President. All Southeast Asian markets except Vietnam had posted losses in 2015.

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