SE Asia Stocks-Rise as chances dim for Fed rate hike in Sept
By Aparajita Saxena Sept 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Monday after chances of an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week diminished, and as investors awaited data from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said the central bank should avoid removing support for the U.S. economy too quickly, although several Fed officials have recently suggested that the economy is nearly ready for higher rates. Chances of an interest rate hike by the Fed in December have shot up in the past month, a Reuters poll showed. "Given low market expectations for the Fed to move in September (probability at 20 percent), we expect a continuation of the status quo," Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities in Jakarta, wrote in a note. "We expect soft market movements ahead of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting and the BOJ monetary policy meeting," he added. Japan's central bank is expected to present an assessment of its ultra-easy monetary policy when it meets on Tuesday and Wednesday. The BOJ will consider making negative interest rates the centrepiece of future easing by shifting its prime policy target away from base money, Reuters reported last week citing sources. Indonesian shares outperformed other markets in the region and were up for a third straight session. Gains were supported by telecom services stocks including Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT. Indonesia's central bank likely will cut its benchmark interest rate for the fifth time this year on Thursday to try to spur economic growth, a Reuters poll showed. The decision is due Thursday, Sept. 22 after 0700 GMT. Singapore shares remained robust, helped by gains in oil stocks as global crude prices rose after Venezuela said OPEC and non-OPEC producers were close to reaching an output stabilising deal and as clashes in Libya raised concerns that efforts to restart crude exports could be disrupted. Rig builders Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Industries were among the gainers on the index. Malaysia closed lower for a fifth straight session. Malaysia's annual inflation rate in August likely increased to 1.3 percent, a Reuters poll showed, slightly faster than the previous month's pace. Its CPI data is due Wednesday at 0400 GMT. Vietnam shares ended 1 percent higher, after five consecutive sessions of falls, posting its biggest intraday gain in three weeks. Advances in Vietnam were supported by financial stocks. Vietcom Bank rose 4.7 percent. Philippine shares reversed morning session losses to close 0.3 percent higher. Thai shares ended higher for a fifth consecutive session. Thailand expects to unveil next week fresh measures to help beleaguered farmers, the finance minister said on Monday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Close Pct Move Singapore 2852.14 2827.45 0.87 Bangkok 1492.73 1479.07 0.92 Manila 7575.84 7553.76 0.29 Jakarta 5321.841 5267.769 1.03 Kuala Lumpur 1651.71 1652.99 -0.08 Ho Chi Minh 657.89 651.31 1.01 Change this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2852.14 2882.73 -1.06 Bangkok 1492.73 1288.02 15.89 Manila 7575.84 6952.08 8.97 Jakarta 5321.841 4593.008 15.87 Kuala Lumpur 1651.71 1692.51 -2.41 Ho Chi Minh 657.89 579.03 13.62 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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