SE Asia Stocks -Most up after Fed's dovish comments; Thai telecoms strong
BANGKOK, March 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve's dovish comments on interest rates and economic recovery boosted investor sentiment, with Thai telecoms shares among outperformers after the government decided to resume 4G spectrum auction. Gains in large-cap telecoms helped the Thai key SET index rise 0.3 percent to a near one-week high of 1,535.85. Advanced Info Service, the country's top mobile phone company, gained as much as 2 percent to a more than six-week high, while number two Total Access Communication and third-ranked True Corp rose 2.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. The government has decided to resume a planned auction of spectrum licences used for 4G wireless broadband services and complete it in August, Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula told reporters on Wednesday. Brokers in Bangkok said global risk appetite could stay in the near term. "In our view, the Fed stance will clear the air for stocks for a while and a stronger market is likely," said broker KGI Securities in a report. Stocks in Singapore edged up 0.4 percent after two days of falls, Indonesia recovered from a more than three-week closing low on Wednesday and the Philippines rebounded after the previous session's loss. Malaysia was heading for a third day of gains. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 1.6 percent and U.S. stocks rallied overnight after the Federal Reserve indicated it preferred a more gradual path to normalizing U.S. interest rates. The Fed also downgraded its economic growth and inflation projections, signalling it is in no rush to push borrowing costs to more normal levels. In Vietnam, the benchmark VN Index fell 0.2 percent, with stocks range-bound in a volatile trading session. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0547 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3374.13 3361.75 +0.37 Kuala Lumpur 1807.22 1797.57 +0.54 Bangkok 1535.85 1531.50 +0.28 Jakarta 5448.29 5413.15 +0.65 Manila 7818.17 7756.58 +0.79 Ho Chi Minh 577.76 578.68 -0.19 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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