SE Asia Stocks-Firmer after Yellen's comment; Singapore outperforms
March 30 (Reuters) - All Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday as risk appetite improved after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comment hosed down expectations of any imminent hike in U.S. interest rates. Yellen on Tuesday emphasised global dangers to growth and inflation, and thus the need to proceed "cautiously" on tightening policy. Singapore's Straits Time Index jumped 1.9 percent to a one-week closing high, led by financials, while the Jakarta Composite Index added 0.7 percent. Thailand rose 1.3 percent to its highest close in nearly five months, led by financials, amid a net foreign inflow of $242.74 million, while Malaysia closed 0.2 percent higher with a $101.92 million net foreign inflow. "Yellen's cautious tone on Fed fund rate rising pace helped to spur the regional market sentiment," said Teerada Charnyingyong, an analyst with Phillip Capital in Bangkok. The Fei Ming, a broker with Jakarta-based Ciptadana Securities, said Yellen expressed strong doubt and concern over negative externalities that could harm the U.S. recovery. "Domestic economy, indeed, signals positive development. But, external headwinds and 'still' low oil prices are unfavourable to the global economy which could later potentially backfire the U.S. economy," he said. Analysts said investors are also waiting for other economic data due out this week, including China's manufacturing PMI data on Thursday and the U.S. non-farm payrolls and unemployment data on Friday. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index rebounded 0.3 percent from a four-week closing low in the previous session after the Asian Development Bank raised its forecast for the country's economic growth. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2872.78 2819.08 +1.90 Kuala Lumpur 1717.82 1715.04 +0.16 Bangkok 1410.29 1392.85 +1.25 Jakarta 4816.66 4781.30 +0.74 Manila 7299.23 7274.40 +0.34 Ho Chi Minh 569.91 568.28 +0.29 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2872.78 2882.73 -0.35 Kuala Lumpur 1717.82 1692.51 +1.50 Bangkok 1410.29 1288.02 +9.49 Jakarta 4816.66 4593.00 +4.87 Manila 7299.23 6952.08 +4.99 Ho Chi Minh 569.91 579.03 -1.58 ($1 = 35.2300 baht) ($1 = 3.9380 ringgit) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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