SE Asia stocks gain ahead of Fed minutes

  • WRITER: REUTERS

Stocks in Southeast Asia gain and investors wait for minutes of the US Federal Reserve's last meeting. (Reuters file photo)

Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended higher on Wednesday with Singapore gaining more than 1% while investors awaited minutes of the US Federal Reserve's last meeting, moving past tensions over North Korea.

Investors around the globe are awaiting minutes of the Fed's June meeting to gauge how committed it was to hiking rates again this year and for any details on plans to wind back its massive balance sheet.

"The apprehensions over the geopolitical tension created by the launch of ICBMs from North Korea have started to disappear and investors are focussing on the fundamentals of local equities." said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based Asiasec Equities Inc.

"Yen has started to weaken, which means that funds which shifted to safe haven assets have started to go back to regional equities."

Markets also shrugged off data from a private business survey that showed China's services sector grew at a slower pace in June as new orders slumped, pointing to a softening outlook for the economy.

Singapore shares closed over 1% higher with financials accounting for more than half of the gains.

Vietnam's benchmark index closed the day 0.4% higher, aided by utilities and financials. Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp rose 1.9% to end at a four-month high.

Philippine shares ended 0.2% higher lifted by industrial stocks such as LT Group Inc, up 1.3%.

The Philippines' annual inflation eased for a second straight month in June due to slower price increases in food and transport, data from the statistics agency showed on Wednesday.

Indonesia dropped 0.7% with financials dragging the index.

Radana Bhaskara Finance Tbk slipped 13.7%, posting its fifth straight session of declines while synthetic fibre manufacturer Panasia Indo Resources Tbk PT slid as much as 24.6% before paring some of the losses.

Southeast Asian stock markets

 

 

Current

Previous

% change

Indonesia                

5,825.05

5.865.36

-0.69

Malaysia       

1,768.16

1.762.08

+0.35

Philippines                 

7,848,84

7,833.96

+0.19

Singapore                 

3,248.71

3.211.17

+1.17

Vietnam        

778.32

775.54

+0.36

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