SE Asia Stocks-Rise after US Fed adopts "patient" approach to rate hike
JAKARTA, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday as investor concerns about an earlier-than-expected rate hike eased after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would adopt a "patient" approach. The U.S. Fed on Wednesday offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, altering a pledge to keep rates near zero for a "considerable time" in a show of confidence in the economy. Jakarta's Trimegah Securities said investors responded positively to the Fed's statement as they had anticipated a more aggressive stance following positive U.S. economic data. Concerns over a possible U.S. rate hike, combined with plummeting oil prices resulted in foreign outflows from emerging markets this week due to global risk aversion. The Thai index led the Southeast Asian rally with a 2.5 percent gain, boosted by energy stocks rebounding from losses posted earlier this week. Shares in Thai energy firm PTT PCL rose 6.3 percent. Its units PTT Exploration and Production PCL and PTT Global Chemical PCL were among those most traded in Bangkok. Philippine stocks rebounded from their losses and closed 0.9 percent higher. The index had lost 4.3 percent in the last two sessions. The Indonesian benchmark index was up 1.5 percent, its highest one-day gain in two months, as the rupiah strengthened the most since October. Consumer and banking stocks were among the biggest gainers in Indonesia. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3243.65 3227.23 +0.51 Kuala Lumpur 1699.95 1681.90 +1.07 Bangkok 1516.79 1480.20 +2.47 Jakarta 5113.35 5035.66 +1.54 Manila 7029.28 6966.21 +0.91 Ho Chi Minh 528.45 518.22 +1.97 Change on year Market Current End 2013 Pct Move Singapore 3243.65 3167.43 +2.41 Kuala Lumpur 1699.95 1866.96 -8.95 Bangkok 1516.79 1298.71 +16.8 Jakarta 5113.35 4274.18 +19.6 Manila 7029.28 5889.83 +19.3 Ho Chi Minh 528.45 504.63 +4.72 (Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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