SE Asia Stocks -Mostly up on Fed optimism; Philippines leads
July 30 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets gained on Thursday, led by Philippine shares, after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the domestic economy and job market continue to strengthen, leaving the door open for an interest rate increase as early as September. After a two-day policy meeting that ended Wednesday, Fed officials said they felt the economy had overcome a first-quarter slowdown and was "expanding moderately", despite a downturn in the energy sector and headwinds from overseas. "...these comments were taken to mean a rate hike this year is still not totally ruled out though the Fed would continue to keep a hawk's eye on things," Singapore-based Net Research Asia said in an investor note. The Philippines stock index was up 0.7 percent at 0513 GMT, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index rose 0.2 percent, extending the rebound from a 16-month low hit on Tuesday, and Malaysia traded 0.3 percent firmer. Bucking the trend, Singapore traded 0.5 percent weaker, a day after it reversed a six-session falling trend. Vietnam lost 0.3 percent, led by large caps, but energy shares gained on rising oil prices. Thai markets were closed for a holiday on Thursday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0513 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3266.93 3284.00 -0.52 Kuala Lumpur 1704.73 1698.99 +0.34 Jakarta 4731.39 4721.12 +0.22 Manila 7532.14 7482.83 +0.66 Ho Chi Minh 622.90 624.70 -0.29 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez in COLOMBO; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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