By Susan Mathew
March 17 Most Southeast Asian stock markets
ended higher on Friday, buoyed by a weaker dollar as the U.S.
Federal Reserve did not signal a faster pace of monetary
The U.S. central bank delivered an interest rate increase
on Wednesday as anticipated, but it did not alter its earlier
forecast for a total of three rate increases this year.
That disappointed some investors who had hoped for hints of
a possible fourth hike in 2017 and for more aggressive forecasts
for next year.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback against
a basket of six major rivals, edged down 0.1 percent to 100.26.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
gained 0.4 percent.
"Regional markets gained as the dollar rally waned. They had
been pricing in the rate hike since last week," said Victor
Felix, an equity analyst with AB Capital Securities, adding that
a stronger dollar had been pressuring blue chip stocks.
"Dollar bulls are closing their positions towards the
weekend and that has tapered out the rally," he said.
Indonesian stocks gained 0.4 percent to hit a record
closing high of 5,540.43 after the central bank kept the key
interest rate unchanged and forecast a positive growth for the
economy for the first quarter on 2017.
The index rose 2.8 percent on the week, its biggest weekly
jump since the last week of December.
Financial and mining-related stocks led the gains, with Bank
Rakyat gaining 3.8 percent and United Tractors
adding 5.1 percent.
An index of the 45 most liquid stocks rose 0.5
percent, bringing its weekly gain to 3.3 percent.
Philippine shares rose 0.9 percent to hit its highest
close in seven weeks and posted a 2.8 percent weekly gain.
Financial stocks BDO Unibank and Ayala Land
gained 1.8 percent.
Singapore shares ended 0.2 percent up at its highest
since August 2015, with Yangzijiang Shipbuilding
gaining 4.1 percent and telecom company Starhub adding
The index logged its sixth straight winning week, adding 1.2
percent on the week.
Bucking the trend, Vietnam stocks fell 0.6 percent as
industrial stocks FLC Faros Construction JSC and CII
Bridges and Roads Investment JSC lost nearly 7 percent.
The index lost 0.2 percent over the week.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE ON DAY
Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3169.38 3163.52 0.19
Bangkok 1560.98 1557.05 0.25
Manila 7345.02 7278.6 0.91
Jakarta 5540.432 5518.241 0.40
Kuala Lumpur 1745.2 1737.14 0.46
Ho Chi Minh 710.54 714.92 -0.61
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3169.38 2880.76 10.02
Bangkok 1560.98 1542.94 1.17
Manila 7345.02 6840.64 7.4
Jakarta 5540.432 5296.711 4.60
Kuala Lumpur 1745.2 1641.73 6.30
Ho Chi Minh 710.54 664.87 6.9
(Reporting by Susan Mathew; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)