SE Asia Stocks -Most higher after Fed rate decision
BANGKOK, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets mostly rose on Friday after the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to leave interest rates on hold as expected, with banks in Indonesia and Thailand eking out more gains after central banks kept policy rates earlier in the week. Thai SET index was up 0.4 percent, heading for a fourth straight week of gain. The Fed rate decision gave a boost to sentiment in the region and the Thai market but investors remained cautious about the next Fed move. "We believe the Fed action will lead to further Thai baht appreciation and stronger inflows in the near-term but upside remains limited as global economic worries are admittedly increasing following the Fed decision," said KGI Securities. Bank of Thailand's Assistant Governor Mathee Supapongse told Reuters the Fed decision may slow down the flow of funds out of Thailand but a return of strong cash inflows was unlikely as the market still expected a U.S. interest rate hike later this year. Indonesia's key index was up 0.8 percent at a two-week high, poised for a 1.2 percent rise on the week. Among the actively traded stocks in Jakarta and Bangkok, shares of Bank Negara Indonesia were up 0.7 percent, its second day of gains, while Kasikornbank climbed 1.4 percent, its third day of rise. The Bank of Thailand on Wednesday and the Bank Indonesia on Thursday decided to maintain policy interest rates as expected. It is supportive to net interest margins of banking sector, according to brokers. Singapore's key index was up 0.5 percent, on course for a weekly gain of almost 1 percent, its second. "Given this is the last trading day of the week, we think there could be some cautious profit-taking too after recent gains and a still cautious outlook," broke NRA Captial said in a report. Other sharemarkets in the region were all on course to end the week higher, led by a 4.5 percent advance of Malaysia . The Philppines is on track for a weekly gain of about 4 percent and Vietnam's is set for a gain on the week. Asian shares rose modestly on Friday on relief the Federal Reserve held off on raising interest rates but gains were capped by renewed concerns about the health of the global economy, in particular China. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0500 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2911.05 2895.81 +0.53 Kuala Lumpur 1675.29 1681.54 -0.37 Bangkok 1394.93 1389.70 +0.38 Jakarta 4412.06 4378.39 +0.77 Manila 7195.21 7123.99 +1.00 Ho Chi Minh 567.95 562.48 +0.97 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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