SE Asia Stocks-End up as chances of U.S. rate hike abate; Indonesia at 15-mth high
By Hanna Paul Aug 1 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Monday as poor U.S. economic growth data tempered expectations about a possible interest rate hike by the Fed in the next few months. U.S. gross domestic product rose 1.2 percent in the April-June period, less than half the 2.6 percent growth economists had expected. New York Fed President William Dudley said the Fed should be cautious in raising rates due to lingering risks to the U.S. economy. The likelihood of the U.S. not raising rates any time soon puts Asia in a better light as growth rates in the region are higher than expected, said Grace Aller, an analyst with Manila-based AP Securities. Indonesian shares closed up 2.8 percent at their highest in fifteen months, driven by financial and telecom stocks. "People are buying heavily into the blue chips that posted big losses last Friday," a trader said. Indonesia's annual inflation rate in July eased slightly from the previous month, the country's statistics bureau said on Monday. Indonesia's July consumer price index rose 3.21 pct year on year. The Philippines climbed more than 1 percent led by financials and industrial stocks. Property developer SM Prime Holdings was among the top gainers in the index, rising as much as 2.7 percent after posting a 12 percent rise in first-half core net income. Thailand ended down dragged by financials and healthcare stocks such as Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Company Ltd. Thailand's annual headline consumer prices rose for a fourth straight month in July, driven by higher prices of food and cigarettes, the Commerce Ministry said on Monday. The Thai central bank is expected to leave its policy rate unchanged at 1.50 percent when the policy committee meets on Aug. 3, according to a Reuters poll. Vietnam fell as July factory growth dipped to 4-month low after orders slowed. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2892.52 2868.69 0.83 Bangkok 1512.62 1524.07 -0.75 Manila 8069.81 7963.11 1.34 Jakarta 5361.576 5215.994 2.79 Kuala Lumpur 1665.23 1653.26 0.72 Ho Chi Minh 648.38 652.23 -0.59 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2892.52 2882.73 0.34 Bangkok 1512.62 1288.02 17.44 Manila 8069.81 6952.08 16.08 Jakarta 5361.576 4593.008 16.73 Kuala Lumpur 1665.23 1692.51 -1.61 Ho Chi Minh 648.38 579.03 11.98 (Reporting by Hanna Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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