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Monday, July 17, 2017       14:11 WIB
SE Asia Stocks-Edge up; Singapore hits near 2-yr high

July 17, 2017 / 11:22 AM

By Ambar Warrick

July 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Monday, with Singapore hitting a near two-year high, as tame inflation and soft domestic demand in the United States hurt prospects for a third interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve.

     U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in June and retail sales fell for a second straight month, but industrial production picked up, driven by a surge in oil and gas drilling, data showed on Friday.

    U.S. policymakers are confronted with benign inflation and a tight labor market as they weigh a third rate hike and announcing plans to start reducing the central bank`s $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

    A tamer Fed bodes well for inflows into Asia as investors usually look to its markets for better yields.

    In Southeast Asia, Singapore rose for a second consecutive session to hit a near two-year high, led by financial stocks.     

    DBS Group Holdings rose as much as 1.8 percent, while United Overseas Bank hit a more than two-year high.

    Singapore`s non-oil domestic exports grew faster-than-expected in June from a year earlier on continued growth in electronics shipments as well as a rebound in non-electronic products.

    Philippine stocks rose as much as 0.9 percent, as industrial and real estate stocks gained. JG Summit Holdings Inc rose 1.5 percent, while SM Prime Holdings Inc gained as much as 1.8 percent.

    "We have our State of the Nation address coming up a week from now, followed by the opening of Congress. Markets usually move higher ahead of the address," said Joseph Roxas, president of Manila-based Eagle Equities Inc.

    "...we expect the Senate to pass tax reform measures, mainly to lower corporate and individual income taxes."

    Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia were little changed, while Vietnam edged down 0.2 percent.

    Asian stocks rose, with the MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up about 0.4 percent.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change as at 0344 GMT

Market

Current

previous  close

Pct Move

Singapore

3293.01

3287.43

0.17

Bangkok

1579.46             

1577.79

0.11

Manila

7924.46

7885.9

0.49

Jakarta

5834.582

5831.795

0.05

Kuala Lumpur

1756.71

1755

0.10

Ho Chi Minh

776.24

777.6        

-0.17

(Reuters.com)


 





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