SE Asia Stocks-Mostly up as U.S. Fed stance boosts sentiment
JAKARTA, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets continued their rally on Friday as global markets cheered the U.S. Federal Reserve's pledge to be "patient" in its interest rate decision. The Fed's signal "continues to be the positive catalyst that supports the global market rally," BNI Securities in Jakarta said in a research note on Friday. The Indonesian stock index rose 0.7 percent, extending its gain of 1.5 percent in the previous session. Still, the index is set for a second losing week after a sharp decline earlier this week. The rupiah gaining against the dollar helped push up the Jakarta index. The currency rebounded strongly in the past two days after touching its weakest in 16 years on Tuesday. PT Bank Negara Indonesia Tbk, Indonesia's fourth largest bank by assets, rose 1.3 percent. Trimegah Securities said the bank is waiting for a permit to do business in South Korea. The Malaysian stock index rose 0.9 percent while the Philippine index gained 1.4 percent. Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc, a Philippine investment company, rose 0.8 percent. Broker Maybank ATR Kim Eng said in a note on Friday it had upgraded Aboitiz to 'hold' and raised its target price by 20 percent on improving growth prospects of its power generation and distribution unit. The Thai index fell 0.6 percent, erasing some of its 3.7 percent gain in the previous two sessions. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0503 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3282.85 3243.65 +1.21 Kuala Lumpur 1715.48 1699.95 +0.91 Bangkok 1507.27 1516.79 -0.63 Jakarta 5149.92 5113.35 +0.72 Manila 7124.04 7029.28 +1.35 Ho Chi Minh 523.78 528.45 -0.88 (Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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