SE Asia Stocks-Higher as U.S. Fed keeps interest rates steady

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Thu, Sep 22, 2016 16:20 hrs

By Suhail Hassan Bhat Sept 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Thursday, tracking broader Asian peers, after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged although it strongly signalled it could tighten monetary policy by year-end. The Fed also projected a less aggressive rise in interest rates next year and in 2018, and cut its longer-run interest rate forecast to 2.9 percent from 3.0 percent. "It (Fed's decision) is good for emerging markets in the short-term. December is going to be challenging," said Mikey Macainag, an analyst with the Manila-based Sunsecurities Inc. Taye Shim, an analyst with the Jakarta-based Daewoo Securities, said in a note that the Fed decision to hold rates, coupled with monetary easing by the Bank of Japan, should lift short-term uncertainties and lead to a relief rally. On Wednesday, the BOJ abandoned its base money target and set a "yield curve control" under which it will buy long-term government bonds to keep 10-year bond yields around their current zero percent. Thai shares hit a three-week closing high, driven by consumer non-cyclicals, industrial and financial stocks. Bank of Ayudhya was up 2.74 percent, while oil conglomerate PTT Pcl rose 1.2 percent. Philippine shares climbed for a fourth straight session, led by financials and industrials. Metro Pacific Investments Corp was up 3.5 percent. The Philippine central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.0 percent on Thursday, expecting inflation to remain subdued. Indonesian shares rose 0.7 percent, with Bank Mandiri up 2.4 percent. Indonesia's central bank on Thursday cut its benchmark interest rate for the fifth time this year, in line with expectations. Malaysian shares ended 0.7 percent higher, while Vietnam gained about 0.4 percent. Singapore however ended marginally lower after gaining nearly 1 percent earlier in the session, ahead of August inflation data due on Friday. Asian shares rose, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 1.2 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2846.06 2850.74 -0.16 Bangkok 1505.99 1487.17 1.27 Manila 7762.35 7675.42 1.13 Jakarta 5380.262 5342.592 0.71 Kuala Lumpur 1669.66 1658.73 0.66 Ho Chi Minh 671.38 668.48 0.43 Change this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2846.06 2882.73 -1.27 Bangkok 1505.99 1288.02 16.92 Manila 7762.35 6952.08 11.66 Jakarta 5380.262 4593.008 17.14 Kuala Lumpur 1669.66 1692.51 -1.35 Ho Chi Minh 671.38 579.03 15.95 (Reporting by Suhail Hassan Bhat; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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