August 27, 2018 / 3:56 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise tracking Wall Street; Indonesia hits 2-week high

    * Thailand hit over 2-week high
    * Malaysia touches 3-month high
    * Philippine markets closed

    By Sumeet Gaikwad
    Aug 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on
Monday, tracking Wall Street's record high on Friday after U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell defended the central
bank's rate hike cycle. 
    Powell made the case that gradual interest rate hikes were
the best way to protect the U.S. economy and signalled more
hikes were coming despite President Donald Trump's criticism of
higher borrowing costs.
    "Powell's comments somewhat supported risk sentiment, as the
Fed is unlikely to tighten faster than planned despite inflation
moving up to near 2 percent," Mizuho Bank said in a note.
    In early Asian trade on Monday, S&P500 E-mini futures
touched a record high of 2,885, and were last 0.2 percent higher
at 2,882.5. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan was up over 1 percent.
    Singapore shares rose 0.6 percent, driven by
financials. Top lenders DBS Group Holdings and United
Overseas Bank Ltd were up nearly 1 percent each. 
    Indonesian shares climbed as much as 0.8 percent to
a two-week high, led by materials and telecom stocks. 
    Telekomunikasi Indonesia led the gains on the
benchmark, rising 2.4 percent while cement manufacturer Semen
Indonesia jumped 6 percent. 
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
was up 0.8 percent.
    Malaysian shares hit a three-month high and were
last marginally higher with gains in financials offseting losses
in telecom stocks. 
    Malayan Banking rose 1.5 percent to an over
two-month high, while Axiata Group fell 3.6 percent
after the telecommunications company on Friday posted a
quarterly net loss of 3.36 billion ringgit ($818.51 million),
compared with a profit of 407.2 million ringgit a year earlier.

    Thai shares rose to their highest in over two weeks,
helped by gains across the board. 
    Bank of Ayudhya was among the biggest boost with a
gain of over 3 percent. Oil and gas explorer PTT Exploration and
Production was up 1.4 percent. 
    Philippine financial markets were closed for a
holiday. 
        
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: AS AT 0339GMT
 Change on the day                           
 Market             Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3232.84  3213            0.62
 Bangkok            1713.23  1703.82         0.55
 Jakarta            6011.52  5968.75         0.72
 Kuala Lumpur       1811.69  1808.59         0.17
 Ho Chi Minh        992.49   987.05          0.55
                                             
 Change on year                              
 Market             Current  End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3232.84  3402.92         -5.00
 Bangkok            1713.23  1753.71         -2.31
 Jakarta            6011.52  6355.654        -5.41
 Kuala Lumpur       1811.69  1796.81         0.83
 Ho Chi Minh        992.49   984.24          0.84
 
($1 = 4.1050 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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