SE Asia Stocks-Most rise after Yellen's comment
By Rushil Dutta May 30 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday as a top U.S. Federal Reserve official echoed comments made by Fed Chair Janet Yellen last week about the possibility of an interest rate hike in the near future. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said on Monday global markets appeared to be "well-prepared" for an interest rate rise in summer, although he did not specify a date for the policy move. On Friday, Yellen had said the Fed should raise interest rates "in the coming months" if the economy picks up as expected and jobs continue to be generated. "Yellen was hawkish on Friday, and her speech affirms the change in stance and monetary policies in the United States. Investors are now waiting to see how the rate hike affects asset prices," Alex Tiu, an analyst with AB Capital Securities Inc in Manila, said. "The speech signalled that the U.S. economy is improving to the point where the Fed feels confident to raise rates - export- oriented countries will greatly benefit from a healthy U.S. market." Sentiment was also strengthened after the U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday that GDP rose at a 0.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter as opposed to the 0.5 percent pace reported last month, according to a second GDP estimate for the January-March period. Vietnam shares rose for a second straight session on Monday and closed 1.1 percent higher, led by financials and energy stocks. State-owned PetroVietnam Gas finished 0.9 percent higher. The Philippine main index finished 0.7 percent higher, with telecom services and utility stocks leading the gains. Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), San Miguel Corp, and Globe Telecom Inc were the biggest gainers. PLDT and Globe Telecom agreed to buy conglomerate San Miguel Corp out of the telecoms sector for $1.5 billion. Indonesian stocks ended 0.4 percent higher, supported by energy and financials. Petroleum distributor AKR Corporindo Tbk PT rose 4.6 percent. The Thai SET index closed 0.8 percent higher, while Singapore was marginally lower. Malaysia's main stock index lost 0.5 percent, with agriculture firm PPB Group recording the biggest percentage loss. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2796.75 2802.51 -0.21 Bangkok 1424.12 1412.67 0.81 Manila 7464.34 7411.68 0.71 Jakarta 4836.033 4814.731 0.44 Kuala Lumpur 1629.87 1637.19 -0.45 Ho Chi Minh 614.5 608.11 1.05 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2796.75 2882.73 -2.98 Bangkok 1424.12 1288.02 10.57 Manila 7464.34 6952.08 7.37 Jakarta 4836.033 4593.008 5.29 Kuala Lumpur 1629.87 1692.51 -3.70 Ho Chi Minh 614.5 579.03 6.13 (Additional reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Subhranshu Sahu)
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