SE Asia stocks up on cautious Federal Reserve

  • WRITER: REUTERS

Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday after US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen indicated a more gradual tightening of monetary policy in her testimony to Congress, strengthening risk appetite.

Yellen noted on Wednesday that while the US economy was healthy enough for the Fed to tighten policy, the federal funds rate would not have to rise all that much further to reach a neutral level that neither encourages nor discourages economic activity.

Singapore shares ended 0.8% higher, backed by financials and industrials. DBS Group and United Overseas Bank rose 2.1% and 1.5%, respectively, while Jardine Matheson Holdings climbed 2%.

Vietnam shares rose for the third consecutive session, closing 0.5% higher. Vietnam National Petroleum Group and Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp led the gains, with the latter posting its highest close in more than six-and-a-half months.

Philippine shares erased early gains to end flat.

Gains in conglomerate LT Group Inc, which ended 6.9% higher, were outweighed by falls in heavyweights JG Summit Holdings and PLDT Inc.

"We saw net foreign selling today, so that might have added to the selling pressure," said Victor Felix, an equity analyst with Manila-based AB Capital Securities.

"The index is approaching the 8,000 resistance level, so some investors may be taking some profits ahead of that."

Indonesian shares closed 0.2% higher in last-minute buying, lifted by financials while Malaysian stocks closed marginally lower after the central bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged in line with expectations.

Southeast Asian stock markets

 

 

Current

Previous

% change

Indonesia                

5,830.44

5,819.13

+0.19

Malaysia       

1,753.78

1,757.24

-0.20

Philippines                 

7,936.85

7,938.37

-0.02

Singapore                 

3,235.67

3,208.91

+0.83

Vietnam        

778.30

774.17

+0.53

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