June 18, 2019 / 10:09 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most end firmer in cautious trade; investors await Fed outcome

    * Singapore rebounds 1%, hits highest close in over a month
    * Indonesia posts technical rebound, snaps four sessions of
    * Investors remain cautious ahead of Fed interest rate

    By Rashmi Ashok
    June 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
closed higher on Tuesday, but gains were capped as investors
kept a cautious stance ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting
set to begin later in the day. 
    Despite fresh demands by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut
interest rates, the Fed is expected to keep rates steady this
time while laying the groundwork for a rate cut later this year.

    "Mood in Asia will likely remain cautious with investors
awaiting the Fed meeting and possible adjustments to the dot
plots before taking on substantial bets," ING said in a note.
    While weak economic data dragged Singapore's index
lower in the previous session, expectations of a potential
monetary easing in October lifted sentiment on Tuesday. 

    The city-state's main index rebounded to end nearly 1%
firmer, hitting its highest close in more than a month. 
    "Singapore stocks are probably taking their cue from
regional markets. The Hang Seng is trading higher as news about
the protests over the weekend somewhat died down," said Liu
Jinshu, director of research, NRA Capital.
    "The U.S. markets have stayed near recent highs after a
massive run upwards in the first week of June. This has also
boosted confidence," he added.
    In a technical rebound, Indonesian stocks snapped
four sessions of declines to end stronger. Telekomunikasi
Indonesia Tbk added 2.1% to the index, while Bank
Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk closed 3.3% higher.
    Malaysian stocks ended higher, with top percentage
gainer Axiata Group rising 5.1%, while tourist resort
operator Genting Malaysia closed up 1.5%.
    Thai stocks clawed back from early losses to hit
their highest close since October 2018, buoyed by gains in the
energy sector. 
    PTT Public Company climbed 2.2%, while PTT
Exploration and Production Public Co jumped to its
highest close in nearly a month.
    Bucking the trend, Vietnam's stocks closed 0.3%
lower, dogged by consumer and real estate stocks. 

    For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3238.73  3207.99         0.96
 Bangkok                1683.6   1667.23         0.98
 Manila                 7922.04  7908.99         0.17
 Jakarta                6257.33  6190.525        1.08
 Kuala Lumpur           1652.76  1638.4          0.88
 Ho Chi Minh            944.01   946.95          -0.31
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3238.73  3068.76         5.54
 Bangkok                1683.6   1563.88         7.66
 Manila                 7922.04  7,466.02        6.11
 Jakarta                6257.33  6,194.50        1.01
 Kuala Lumpur           1652.76  1690.58         -2.24
 Ho Chi Minh            944.01   892.54          5.77

 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
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