SE Asia Stocks-Rise on oil gains, hopes of more global easing
By Justin George Varghese Aug 16 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday, in line with Asia, aided by gains in oil prices overnight and on expectations of an extended phase of monetary easing after downbeat economic data from major economies. Most countries are easing their monetary policies, with Britain, Australia and New Zealand cutting rates in recent weeks and Japan stepping up purchases of exchange-traded funds. Investors also await the minutes of the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting, due on Wednesday, that could provide clues on the U.S. central bank's plans to raise rates and its view on the health of the economy. The expected easing posture of central banks globally suggests the Fed may be slower to raise short-term interest rates and that could be reflected in the minutes, analysts said. "Recent sentiment levels are elevated and the policy easing expectations that triggered the post-Brexit rally have largely been digested," Nomura strategist Mixo Das said in a note. "We recommend taking profit on outperforming trades when sentiment levels have moderated or Fed pricing has normalised." Investor sentiment was also boosted as oil prices hit one-month highs on Monday, gaining 10 percent or more in a three-day rally as speculation intensified over potential producer action to support prices amid a glut. Asian shares rose to one-year highs, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.2 percent, after the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq stock indexes all closed at life-time highs. Indonesian shares were up 0.9 percent, driven by consumer staples, ahead of car sales and consumer sentiment data due latest by Wednesday. "Expect JCI (Jakarta Composite Index) to trade higher following the record high performances of U.S. indexes and continued oil price strength," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities Indonesia. Malaysian shares were headed for their fifth session of gains, led by telecom services and industrials, while Philippine stocks rose for a second straight day, with utilities leading the rise. Bucking the trend, Thai shares fell for a second straight day, led by consumer non-cyclicals. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on 0453GMT Market Current Prev. close Pct Move Singapore 2874.36 2867.21 0.25 Bangkok 1545.82 1549.11 -0.21 Manila 7980.46 7960.17 0.25 Jakarta 5366.905 5320.561 0.87 Kuala Lumpur 1698.77 1690.33 0.50 Ho Chi Minh 661.74 659.47 0.34 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2874.36 2882.73 -0.29 Bangkok 1545.82 1288.02 20.02 Manila 7980.46 6952.08 14.79 Jakarta 5366.905 4593.008 16.85 Kuala Lumpur 1698.77 1692.51 0.37 Ho Chi Minh 661.74 579.03 14.28 (Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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