March 21, 2017 / 10:34 AM / 3 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-U.S. Fed stance on rates spurs relief rally

    By Sindhu Chandrasekaran
    March 21 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets eked
out small gains on Tuesday as the prospects of a less-hawkish
interest rate policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve helped market
participants overcome concerns of immediate capital outflows
from the region.
    Expectations that the Fed would have to step up rate hikes
to counter inflationary pressure from President Donald Trump's
stimulus are also waning after the U.S. central bank dropped no
hints of an acceleration in credit tightening last week.

    "There is a little bit more room for the Federal Reserve to
manoeuvre its monetary policy," said Taye Shim, head of research
at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas. 
    "So, I would not be so stuck with the Fed's guidance of
three rate hikes this year. I think there is still a possibility
that it's going to be two rate hikes this year. For now, I think
the Fed's accommodative monetary stance is enough of a relief to
drive the markets higher."  
     In Thailand, shares closed 0.3 percent higher, with
energy stocks accounting for nearly half the gains. PTT PCL 
 ended 1 percent higher.
    Indonesian shares were up marginally, rising for 
six out of seven sessions, supported by energy and financial
    Coal miner Baramulti Suksessarana Tbk and PT Bank
Central Asia Tbk both hit record highs.
    Philippine shares pared early gains to close slightly
higher, led by industrials. International Container Terminal
Services Inc closed up 3.1 percent.
    Malaysia was up 0.3 percent, while Singapore
closed marginally lower.
    In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan was up 0.4 percent as of 1031 GMT.

For Asian Companies click;  

  Change on day                                             
  Market                Current       previous     Pct Move
  Singapore             3158.57       3165.7       -0.23
  Bangkok               1568.78       1563.54      0.34
  Manila                7323.31       7316.57      0.09
  Jakarta               5543.093      5533.992     0.16
  Kuala Lumpur          1754.67       1749.41      0.30
  Ho Chi Minh           716.18        715.07       0.16
  Change on year                                   
  Market                Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore             3158.57       2880.76      9.64
  Bangkok               1568.78       1542.94      1.67
  Manila                7323.31       6840.64      7.1
  Jakarta               5543.093      5296.711     4.65
  Kuala Lumpur          1754.67       1641.73      6.88
  Ho Chi Minh           716.18        664.87       7.7

 (Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran; Editing by Biju
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