Southeast Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday, with Philippine shares hitting their highest in more than three months while a rally in crude oil prices and hopes the European Central Bank would ease policy lifted sentiment in Asia.
The European Central Bank is set to unveil its second stimulus cocktail in three months later on Thursday, spurred by fears that low energy costs are feeding into wages and prices, potentially perpetuating ultra-low inflation.
The Philippine composite index PSEi advanced 1.4 percent to 7,048.08, the highest close since December 1. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (MBT.PS ) and BDO Unibank Inc. (BDO.PS) gained over 1 percent each on foreign-led buying, stock exchange data showed.
Malaysia .KLSE eked out its first gains in three trading sessions, a day before the release of January industrial production MYIP=ECI , which is seen expanding at a slightly slower pace from the previous month, a Reuters poll showed.
Philippine shares saw net foreign buying worth 519 million pesos ($11.14 million), reversing the outflows on Wednesday, while Malaysia saw a net 146 million ringgit ($36 million) worth of inflows, data showed.
Vietnam .VNI also posted its first gain in three sessions, up 0.7 percent, led by banking shares.
Stocks in Singapore .STI and Thailand .SETI fell, while Indonesia .JKSE hit a more-than-one-week closing low ahead of a January retail sales survey due on Friday.