By Krishna V Kurup
Dec 14 Southeast Asian stock markets shuffled
sideways on Wednesday with investors looking out for hints on
what is in store for them in 2017 from the U.S. Federal
Reserve's two-day policy meeting that started in the previous
A quarter point move is fully priced in, as are two more
hikes next year. However, any sign of a move faster than that
will likely hurt emerging markets.
Fed officials worry there is risk that overly aggressive
fiscal, tax and other changes under the incoming president
Donald Trump's administration could become inflationary, forcing
the U.S. central bank into more rapid interest rate hikes.
"It now depends on the wording of the communique to get some
sense of the post-rate hike thinking of the FOMC (Federal Open
Market Committee)," said Fiachra Mac Cana, managing director and
head of research at Ho Chi Minh Securities.
"Will they say something about the future trajectory or rate
hikes? Express a view on the monetary implications of the
proposed fiscal stimulus? This is what the markets now await."
The outcome of the Fed meeting will be announced at 1900
GMT, followed by Chair Janet Yellen's news conference.
Among the Southeast Asian markets, Vietnam was the
biggest gainer, rising as much as 1 percent. Vietnam shares had
gained about 13 percent this year as of Tuesday's close.
Investors are getting over the last two-session sell-off
and foreigners were more active buyers in the last few days,
which has provided a floor for the index, said Mac Cana.
"What we are seeing is instinctive buying at lower prices
close to key support levels," said Mac Cana.
Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp led the gainers,
rising as much as 7 percent to its highest since its listing on
Thai stocks fell for the first time in six sessions,
hit by losses in financial and energy sectors.
Kasikornbank Pcl fell 1.2 percent, while PTT Pcl
declined 0.3 percent.
Philippine shares rose marginally, led by gains in
industrial and financial stocks. SM Investments Corp
rose 1.6 percent, while Ayala Corp gained 3.1 percent.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0410 GMT
Market Current Prev close Pct Move
Singapore 2960.19 2955.23 0.17
Bangkok 1526.57 1530.21 -0.24
Manila 6900.96 6880.91 0.29
Jakarta 5285.148 5293.619 -0.16
Kuala Lumpur 1642.29 1645.28 -0.18
Ho Chi Minh 660.85 654.66 0.95
Change on year
Market Current End 2015 Pct Move
Singapore 2959.34 2882.73 2.66
Bangkok 1526.51 1288.02 18.52
Manila 6900.96 6952.08 -0.74
Jakarta 5285.425 4593.008 15.08
Kuala Lumpur 1642.29 1692.51 -2.97
Ho Chi Minh 660.85 579.03 14.13
(Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by