Philippine shares snap losing streak after Moody's upgrade

Reuters

Posted at Dec 12 2014 01:26 PM | Updated as of Dec 12 2014 09:26 PM

BANGKOK - Philippine shares rose on Friday as investors cheered a sovereign credit rating upgrade by Moody's, while other markets in the region were range-bound as a further drop in crude oil prices kept sentiment cautious in most part.

The Philippine main index traded up 1.1 percent at 7,147.19, after its fifth straight fall on Thursday to the lowest close since Oct. 28.

The gain trimmed the index's loss so far on the week to 0.5 percent. Most regional markets posted weak performances on the week, amid losses in shares of oil-related firms and a tumble in crude oil prices.

Moody's Investors Service upgraded its rating on the Philippines by one notch to Baa2 from Baa3 with a stable outlook, citing a decline in the Philippines' debt burden and structural improvements in fiscal management.

Shares of BDO Unibank jumped 2 percent after Moody's upgraded long term ratings on the bank along with three others.

Thai SET index erased early gains and fell.

Investors bought beneficiaries of weak oil prices with brent crude continuing its march downwards and dropping to a 5-1/2-year low of $63 a barrel, bringing this week's losses to more than 8 percent.

Shares of airline firms outperformed the broader Thai market, led by Nok Airlines , Asia Aviation and Bangkok Airways. Shares of energy firms extended their losses, led by PTT Exploration and Production.

"The rebound may remain fragile as pressure from energy counters would continue to weigh on the market," strategists at broker Phillip Securities wrote in a report.

The SET index is on track for a weekly loss of almost 5 percent, after three weeks of gains, due to heavy selling in energy shares.

Indonesia's index eked out a small gain, with banking shares, including Bank Rakyat Indonesia and Bank Mandiri, edging higher after the central bank kept its policy rate at 7.75 percent as expected.