May 25, 2017 / 5:11 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Rise after Fed minutes signal gradual tightening

    By Christina Martin
    May 25 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Thursday, in line with broader Asia, after the minutes of the
U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting signalled a cautious
approach to future rate hikes.
    Fed policymakers agreed they should hold off on raising
interest rates until they see evidence that a recent economic
slowdown was transitory, the latest indication of the central
bank's heightened caution over policy tightening.
    Asian shares scaled two-year highs, with MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
advancing 0.7 percent.
    "Based on the Fed minutes that was released last night,
traders are actually pricing in less chances of a rate hike next
month," said Grace Aller, an analyst with AP Securities.
    "The less probability of a June rate hike points to soft
growth in the United States and encourages a risk-on appetite
for investors towards high-growth emerging markets such as in
Southeast Asia." 
    Singapore shares hit a more than one-week high and
were headed for a third straight session of gains, led by
financial and real estate stocks. 
    DBS Group Holdings Ltd rose as much as 0.9 percent
to its highest in nearly two years, while real estate company
CapitaLand Ltd climbed up to 2.8 percent. 
    The city-state's gross domestic product grew 2.7 percent in
the first quarter from a year earlier and it expects its economy
to grow more than 2 percent this year on improving overseas
    However, the government warned of risks to the outlook from
tightening financial conditions in China and policy
uncertainties in the United States and Britain.
    Malaysian shares rose as much as 0.7 percent,
boosted by financials, with CIMB Group hitting a more
than two-year high after it posted a 45 percent jump in
first-quarter profit on Wednesday.
    Malayan Banking Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd
 rose 2.2 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively. 
    Thai shares gained as much as 0.3 percent, heading
for a fifth consecutive session of gains, helped by financials. 
    Indonesia was closed for a holiday.     
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market           Current    Previous Close  Pct Move
  Singapore        3246.63    3231.24         0.48
  Bangkok          1568.74    1566.15         0.17
  Manila           7836.84    7837.82         -0.01
  Kuala Lumpur     1781.96    1771.01         0.62
  Ho Chi Minh      745.03     742.74          0.31
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current    End 2016        Pct Move
  Singapore        3246.63    2880.76         12.70
  Bangkok          1568.74    1542.94         1.67
  Manila           7836.84    6840.64         14.56
  Kuala Lumpur     1781.96    1641.73         8.54
  Ho Chi Minh      745.03     664.87          12.06
 (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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