July 18, 2018 / 3:58 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise after Fed chief's upbeat remarks

    * Malaysia higher for eighth straight session
    * Vietnam rises for fifth consecutive session

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    July 18 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Wednesday, in line with broader Asia, as a bullish outlook from
the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman lifted investor sentiment.
    Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stuck with an upbeat assessment
on the U.S. economy while downplaying the impact of global trade
risks on the outlook for rate rises.
    "Today's market trend is largely being driven by Powell's
confirmation of gradually raising interest rates," said Taye
Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas,
adding that, "This is exactly what the market was looking for."
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 rose 0.5 percent after two consecutive sessions
of declines following disappointing China GDP data.
    Indonesian shares rose as much as 0.7 percent with
Bank Central Asia gaining 1.4 percent and coal miner
Dian Swastatika climbing 19.4 percent.
    The central bank in Southeast Asia's largest economy is
expected to take a pause in its monetary tightening cycle on
Thursday, a Reuters poll showed.
    "Indonesian market is vulnerable to external factors and
solution is out of their control, meaning they can only use
domestic measures to stabilise the economy. They're using
interest rates to minimise the external impact," Shim said.
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
was up 0.7 percent.
    Philippine shares advanced 0.7 percent, led by gains
in financials and industrials. JG Summit climbed 3
percent, while real estate company Ayala Land rose 1.9
    Malaysian shares inched higher ahead of inflation
data with telecom company Axiata Group Bhd rising 3.6
percent and index heavyweight CIMB Group Bhd gaining 1
    The benchmark stock index gained 4.4 percent in the seven
consecutive sessions of gains through Tuesday.
    The annual inflation rate likely eased to 1.3 percent in
June from 1.8 percent the previous month, thanks to the
withdrawal of a goods and services tax (GST), a Reuters poll
    Singapore shares rose as much as 0.6 percent, while
Vietnam stocks were up for a fifth consecutive session.
    Thai shares gained up to 0.7 percent, buoyed by
energy stocks. Gas distributor PTT Public Co jumped
over 3 percent.    
For Asian Companies click;  
 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3250.15   3239.64         0.32
 Bangkok         1634.87   1626.07         0.54
 Manila          7424.43   7381.68         0.58
 Jakarta         5892.298  5861.508        0.53
 Kuala Lumpur    1741.32   1737.28         0.23
 Ho Chi Minh     930.69    921.27          1.02
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3250.15   3402.92         -4.49
 Bangkok         1634.87   1753.71         -6.78
 Manila          7424.43   8558.42         -13.25
 Jakarta         5892.298  6355.654        -7.29
 Kuala Lumpur    1741.32   1796.81         -3.09
 Ho Chi Minh     930.69    984.24          -5.44
 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; Additional reporting
by Syed Saif Hussain Naqvi
Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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