February 1, 2017 / 5:18 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Cautious ahead of Fed meeting; Indonesia hits 3-wk high

By Sindhu Chandrasekaran
    Feb 1 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
cautious on Wednesday, with investors awaiting the outcome of
the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, while Indonesia and Thailand
recovered from three sessions of losses backed by strong
economic data.
    Indonesia stocks led gains in the region, rising
half a percent. Bank Central Asia Tbk gained 1
percent, while Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk 
rose 0.6 percent.
    Indonesia's factory output rose for the first time in four
months due to rising new domestic orders, data showed. Export
orders, however, continued to decline at a solid pace.
    Thai shares rose, helped by energy and financials.
Oil firm PTT Pcl gained 1 percent.
    Thailand's January headline consumer prices rose on an
annual basis at their fastest pace in more than two years,
government data showed on Wednesday. 
    The Philippines was flat, while Singapore 
gained marginally ahead of results of the Fed's first meeting
after the Trump administration took over.
    Economists polled by Reuters have all but ruled out a rate
increase at Wednesday's Fed meeting.  
    Investors are expected to see an interest rate rise in June,
according to Fed futures data compiled by the CME Group.
    "Our position is that the Federal Reserve will not raise
rates in this meeting. They're going to have to observe what
their President is doing, and try to forecast what the effect of
his moves will be (on financial markets)," said Joseph Roxas,
president of Manila-based Eagle Equities Inc.
    Investors are lightening positions before the Fed meeting.
They are mostly booking profits region-wide, Roxas added.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 was down 0.06 percent. 
    Singapore was helped by industrials that accounted for
nearly half the gains. Conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings
 rose 1 percent.
    Vietnam and Malaysia are closed for a public
    For Asian companies click;  

  Change on the day                                            
  Market                Current       Previous close  Pct Move
  Singapore             3048.78       3046.8          0.06
  Bangkok               1579.23       1577.31         0.12
  Manila                7225.62       7229.66         -0.1
  Jakarta               5322.748      5294.103        0.54
  Change this year                                    
  Market                Current       End 2016        Pct Move
  Singapore             3048.78       2880.76         5.83
  Bangkok               1579.23       1542.94         2.35
  Manila                7225.62       6840.64         5.6
  Jakarta               5322.748      5296.711        0.49
 (Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran; Editing by Gopakumar
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