SE Asia Stocks-Higher on Yellen's comments, easing concerns over Fed rate rise
June 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks were trading higher on Tuesday, in line with Asian peers, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave a largely upbeat assessment of the U.S economy, although she did not specify a time frame for an interest rate increase. The Fed chief said last month's jobs report was "disappointing" but warned against attaching too much significance to the payrolls data in isolation. Yellen was however careful not to give any hints about the timing of a next rate increase, in contrast to a speech on May 27, when she said such a move would probably be appropriate "in coming months." Asian stocks hit a five-week high on Tuesday, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.5 percent, as investors judged the Fed's cautious stance as well-suited to equities. "Emerging markets are rejoicing due to this news," said Grace G. Aller, an analyst with Manila-based AP Securities, referring to the absence of a time frame for a rate increase in Yellen's speech. The Philippine stock index was up 1.66 percent at 0450 GMT, led by financials. "This could be a continuation of the rally due to the Fed's hesitance to increase the rates this June. However, there's a slight possibility (of a rate increase) come July, but could be later than that," Aller said. Stocks also got a boost after the Philippines' rate of inflation in May rose 1.6 percent from a year earlier, but well within the central bank's projection of 1.1-1.9 percent for the month. Ayala Land Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc led the gainers, up 2.7 percent to 3.2 percent. Indonesian shares rose, helped by consumer staples and financials. Telekom Indonesia and Bank Mandiri led the gainers. Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand edged up, while Vietnam was marginally higher. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0450 GMT Market Current Previous Pct Move close Singapore 2842.94 2831.28 0.41 Bangkok 1446.42 1443.42 0.21 Manila 7723.98 7598.22 1.66 Jakarta 4926.269 4896.025 0.62 Kuala Lumpur 1658.81 1648.99 0.60 Ho Chi Minh 622.31 620.05 0.36 Change on year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2842.94 2882.73 -1.38 Bangkok 1446.42 1288.02 12.30 Manila 7723.98 6952.08 11.10 Jakarta 4926.269 4593.008 7.26 Kuala Lumpur 1658.81 1692.51 -1.99 Ho Chi Minh 622.31 579.03 7.47 (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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