SE Asia Stocks-Higher on MSCI's decision on China shares; Fed move awaited

miércoles 15 de junio de 2016 06:17 GYT

By Anusha Ravindranath
    June 15 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks rose on
Wednesday as index provider MSCI's decision to not add domestic
Chinese stocks to one of its key benchmarks boosted sentiment,
even as investors waited for a signal from the U.S. Fed on
interest rate increases this year. 
    U.S. index provider MSCI Inc on Tuesday declined to
add domestic Chinese stocks to its Emerging Markets Index,
delivering a blow to Chinese policymakers hoping to broaden the
appeal of their currency. 
    "It seems that it is a welcome development that China's
domestic equities were denied entry to MSCI," said Manny Cruz,
an analyst with Asiasec Equities Inc. 
    "If ever that will push through, most of the regional funds
would be hurt, as they would be repositioned from other Asian
markets towards China." 
    The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates
unchanged on Wednesday and signal if it still plans to raise
rates twice in 2016 amid concerns about a U.S. hiring slowdown
and Britain's possible exit from the European Union.
    Investors were also keeping an eye out for Britain's June 23
vote to leave the 28-member bloc, dubbed Brexit, which could tip
Europe back into recession and throw global financial markets
into turmoil. 
    "I think cautiousness is still there in the markets, and may
be a little bit of bargain-hunting. There could be some relief
after the Fed meeting, assuming they would keep the rates
unchanged," said April Lee-Tan, an analyst with COL Financial. 
    The Philippine index was the biggest gainer in the
region, recovering from Tuesday's losses to end more than half a
percent higher. 
    Utilities led the gainers, with Metro Pacific Investments
Corp climbing 2.9 percent.
    "China's MSCI decision can be favourable for markets like
Philippines," Lee-Tan said.
    The Philippine share market's six-year bull run ended in
2015 as investors withdrew funds from many emerging markets.
    Singapore and Vietnam rose marginally, while 
Thai stocks closed nearly 0.5 percent higher.
    Indonesia bucked the trend to drift lower, led by
consumer non-cyclicals. 
    "Indonesian market is down mainly because of the cigarette
sparks today," said Harry Su, an analyst with Indonesia-based
Bahana Securities, referring to local media reports that said
the government may soon raise tobacco taxes. 
    "There is concern that there could be traditional policy
risks related to excise tax."
    Shares of clove cigarette maker Gudang Garam Tbk PT
 dropped 5.4 percent, while Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna
Tbk PT lost 5.7 percent. 
    The government has raised excise taxes for big cigarette
companies including Sampoerna by an average 15 percent this
year, higher than the average 10-11 percent in previous years.
    Tobacco taxes account for almost 10 percent of government
revenues, official data shows.     
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  STOCK MARKETS                                        
 Change on day                                         
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        2774.25       2768.33      0.21
  Bangkok          1434.89       1428.1       0.48
  Manila           7501.65       7460.12      0.56
  Jakarta          4814.824      4821.59      -0.14
  Kuala Lumpur     1627.96       1626.11      0.11
 Ho Chi Minh       627.02        625.43       0.25
  Change so far                               
 this year                                    
  Market           Current       End 2015     Pct Move
  Singapore        2774.25       2882.73      -3.76
  Bangkok          1434.89       1288.02      11.40
  Manila           7501.65       6952.08      7.91
  Jakarta          4814.824      4593.008     4.83
  Kuala Lumpur     1627.96       1692.51      -3.81
 Ho Chi Minh       627.02        579.03       8.29

 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju