November 18, 2016 / 10:32 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Singapore gains about 1 pct

By Sindhu Chandrasekaran
    Nov 18 (Reuters) - Singapore shares closed nearly 1 percent
higher on Friday, while three out of the five other Southeast
Asian markets ended lower in line with broader Asia.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 was down 0.4 percent, hovering just above its
four-month low touched earlier this week, after U.S. Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said an interest rate hike was
    The Fed could raise interest rates "relatively soon" if
economic data keeps pointing to an improving labour market and
rising inflation, Yellen said before a Congressional Joint
Economic Committee on Thursday. 
    Prospects for a rate hike also got a boost from U.S.
government data showing that initial claims for state
unemployment benefits hit a 43-year low last week. 
    In addition, U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest
increase in six months in October on rising gasoline costs and
rents, suggesting a pickup in inflation. 
    "The key thing dominating each market in Asia today is
Yellen's speech overnight in which she sent a very strong
message based on the Dec. 14 Fed meeting... We will have no
clear trend overall in Asia until we see the Fed decision," said
Rakpong Chaisuparakul, an analyst with KGI Securities in
    Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index climbed for a
second straight session, adding 0.9 percent this week in its
second weekly gain, with industrials leading the rise.
    Singapore is a safe market to hide in at the moment, said
Andrew Chow of UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd, adding that very big-cap
companies were quite resilient and were safe-harbour stocks.
    Indonesian shares fell as much as 1 percent before
closing down 0.4 percent with technology and energy stocks the
biggest losers. 
    Thailand shares were flat ahead of the release of
third-quarter gross domestic product growth data, likely on
    Economic growth is expected to have slowed slightly in the
third quarter on weaker private sector activity even as tourism
remained strong and exports surprisingly picked up. 
    For Asian Companies click;  

  Market          Current      previous    Pct Move
  Singapore       2838.65      2813.48     0.89
  Bangkok         1473.86      1473.85     0.00
  Manila          7067.73      7050.12     0.25
  Jakarta         5170.109     5193.015    -0.44
  Kuala Lumpur    1623.8       1626.77     -0.18
 Ho Chi Minh      673.25       674.57      -0.20
  Change on year                           
  Market          Current      End 2015    Pct Move
  Singapore       2838.65      2882.73     -1.53
  Bangkok         1473.86      1288.02     14.43
  Manila          7067.73      6952.08     1.66
  Jakarta         5170.109     4593.008    12.56
  Kuala Lumpur    1623.8       1692.51     -4.06
 Ho Chi Minh      673.25       579.03      16.27
 (Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran; Editing by Subhranshu
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