March 23, 2017 / 10:39 AM / 10 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Higher; investors track U.S. healthcare bill

    By Sindhu Chandrasekaran
    March 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Thursday, in line with Asia and Wall Street, with investors
closely watching the progress of a U.S. healthcare bill that
could affect President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on
other campaign promises. 
    Repealing and replacing Democratic former President Barack
Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act is a first major test of
Trump's legislative ability and whether he can go ahead with his
agenda, including cutting taxes and regulation to boosting
    Asian shares rose, with the MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up as much as
0.4 percent, while U.S. equities rebounded on Wednesday after
all three key indexes touched their lowest in about five weeks
earlier in the session.  
    "Since there is not much actionable news coming from Asia, I
think the markets are just taking cues from U.S. equities...,"
said Victor Felix, an equity analyst with Manila-based AB
Capital Securities.
    In Southeast Asia, Indonesian shares closed at a
record high, helped by gains in financial stocks. 
    Indonesia's central bank senior deputy governor said the
rate of inflation in March was seen at below 0.2 percent month
on month.
    Vietnam shares rose 0.9 percent, supported by
consumer staples and financials.
    Hoang Anh Gia Lai Agricultural Joint Stock Co ended
6.8 percent higher, while Sai Gon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint
Stock Bank (Sacombank) was up 6.1 percent.
    Philippines closed 0.6 percent firmer, with
industrials accounting for more than half the gains.
    The Philippine central bank left its key overnight borrowing
rate steady at 3.0 percent as expected, saying inflation should
settle within its target for this year and next.
    Singapore finished the session marginally higher.
    Earlier in the day, data showed the city state's headline
consumer price index in February rose the most in more than two
years on the back of increased private road transport cost.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market           Current      previous    Pct Move
 Singapore        3126.93      3118.19     0.28
 Bangkok          1568.72      1566.66     0.13
 Manila           7301.03      7254.93     0.64
 Jakarta          5563.759     5534.093    0.54
 Kuala Lumpur     1747         1748.3      -0.07
 Ho Chi Minh      719.56       712.94      0.93
 Change on year                             
 Market           Current      End 2016    Pct Move
 Singapore        3126.93      2880.76     8.55
 Bangkok          1568.72      1542.94     1.67
 Manila           7301.03      6840.64     6.7
 Jakarta          5563.759     5296.711    5.04
 Kuala Lumpur     1747         1641.73     6.41
 Ho Chi Minh      719.56       664.87      8.2

 (Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran; Editing by Biju
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