September 22, 2016 / 10:32 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Higher as U.S. Fed keeps interest rates steady

By Suhail Hassan Bhat
    Sept 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
closed higher on Thursday, tracking broader Asian peers, after
the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged although
it strongly signalled it could tighten monetary policy by
    The Fed also projected a less aggressive rise in interest
rates next year and in 2018, and cut its longer-run interest
rate forecast to 2.9 percent from 3.0 percent. 
    "It (Fed's decision) is good for emerging markets in the
short-term. December is going to be challenging," said Mikey
Macainag, an analyst with the Manila-based Sunsecurities Inc. 
    Taye Shim, an analyst with the Jakarta-based Daewoo
Securities, said in a note that the Fed decision to hold rates,
coupled with monetary easing by the Bank of Japan, should lift
short-term uncertainties and lead to a relief rally.
    On Wednesday, the BOJ abandoned its base money target and
set a "yield curve control" under which it will buy long-term
government bonds to keep 10-year bond yields around their
current zero percent. 
    Thai shares hit a three-week closing high, driven by
consumer non-cyclicals, industrial and financial stocks.
    Bank of Ayudhya was up 2.74 percent, while oil
conglomerate PTT Pcl rose 1.2 percent.
    Philippine shares climbed for a fourth straight
session, led by financials and industrials. 
    Metro Pacific Investments Corp was up 3.5 percent. 
    The Philippine central bank left its benchmark interest rate
unchanged at 3.0 percent on Thursday, expecting inflation to
remain subdued.       
    Indonesian shares rose 0.7 percent, with Bank
Mandiri up 2.4 percent.
    Indonesia's central bank on Thursday cut its benchmark
interest rate for the fifth time this year, in line with
    Malaysian shares ended 0.7 percent higher, while   
Vietnam gained about 0.4 percent.
    Singapore however ended marginally lower after
gaining nearly 1 percent earlier in the session, ahead of August
inflation data due on Friday. 
    Asian shares rose, with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 1.2

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  STOCK MARKETS                                        
  Change on day                                        
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        2846.06       2850.74      -0.16
  Bangkok          1505.99       1487.17      1.27
  Manila           7762.35       7675.42      1.13
  Jakarta          5380.262      5342.592     0.71
  Kuala Lumpur     1669.66       1658.73      0.66
  Ho Chi Minh      671.38        668.48       0.43
  Change this                                 
  Market           Current       End 2015     Pct Move
  Singapore        2846.06       2882.73      -1.27
  Bangkok          1505.99       1288.02      16.92
  Manila           7762.35       6952.08      11.66
  Jakarta          5380.262      4593.008     17.14
  Kuala Lumpur     1669.66       1692.51      -1.35
  Ho Chi Minh      671.38        579.03       15.95

 (Reporting by Suhail Hassan Bhat; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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