SE Asia Stocks-Largely up as dollar weakens
By Susan Mathew Oct 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday, with the Philippines rising 1 percent, as the dollar weakened on profit-taking. The dollar fell against a basket of six major currencies after recently strengthening as markets priced in expectations for a Federal Reserve rate increase in December, a growing headwind for emerging markets. "The dollar edging lower is a sigh of relief for Southeast Asian markets during times when the Fed has been so hawkish," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Indonesia. Investors also evaluated whether the Fed will let inflation run above target before raising interest rates, and awaited U.S. inflation data due later in the day for clues about the world's largest economy. Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Monday that economic stability could be threatened by low interest rates, but it was "not that simple" to raise rates. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.81 percent, supported by gains in crude oil prices as some analysts said markets might not be quite as oversupplied as suggested by many. Philippine shares rose for a second session in three, with consumer cyclicals and financials leading the gains. Jollibee Foods Corp and property developer SM Prime Holdings were among the biggest gainers. "We see some semblance of foreign buying given the notion that the (President Rodrigo) Duterte government will bring in investment from foreign trips," said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based Asiasec Securities. Duterte goes to China on Tuesday with at least 200 members of the Philippine business elite to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance, amid deteriorating ties with longtime ally the United States Indonesian shares extended gains for a third consecutive session, driven by consumer cyclicals and basic materials. Conglomerate Astra International Tbk PT rose 2.1 percent, while cement maker Semen Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT was 1.3 percent higher. Thailand fell about 0.2 percent, heading for its second straight sessions of falls. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0505 GMT Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2818.68 2817.07 0.06 Bangkok 1474.05 1477.34 -0.22 Manila 7436.74 7358.21 1.07 Jakarta 5439.236 5410.303 0.53 Kuala Lumpur 1661.11 1653.71 0.45 Ho Chi Minh 681.4 680.95 0.07 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2818.68 2882.73 -2.22 Bangkok 1474.05 1288.02 14.44 Manila 7436.74 6952.08 6.97 Jakarta 5439.236 4593.008 18.42 Kuala Lumpur 1661.11 1692.51 -1.86 Ho Chi Minh 681.4 579.03 17.68 (Reporting by Susan Mathew; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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