August 27, 2018 / 10:04 AM / 8 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-End firmer; Malaysia hits over 3-month closing high

    * Malaysian shares boosted by financials and materials
    * Indonesia posted over two-week closing high
    * Philippine markets closed for holiday

    By Sumeet Gaikwad
    Aug 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended
higher on Monday, in line with broader Asian peers, as risk
sentiment improved following U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman
Jerome Powell's comments on gradual interest rate hikes.
    Powell said gradual rate hikes were the best way to protect
the U.S. economy and signalled more hikes were coming despite
President Donald Trump's criticism of higher borrowing costs.

    "Powell's comments, somewhat, supported risk sentiment, as
the Fed is unlikely to tighten faster than planned despite
inflation moving up to near 2 percent," Mizuho Bank said.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 was up 1.2 percent.
    Boosted by materials and telecommunication sectors, the
Indonesian bourse marked its highest close in more than
two weeks.
    Telekomunikasi Indonesia closed over 5 percent
firmer, while diversified conglomerate Astra International
 added 2.7 percent to the benchmark.
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
was up 1.4 percent.
    Thai shares ended at their highest in nearly three
weeks, with oil and gas producer PTT closing 0.5
percent higher, while Bank of Ayudhya finished 2.5
percent firmer.
    Thailand is set to release manufacturing data for July on
Tuesday. Annual manufacturing output in July is expected to have
risen at a slightly slower pace than in the previous month, a
Reuters poll showed.
    Singapore shares closed higher, led by financials and
industrials. Shares of Jardine Matheson Holdings and
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp ended around 1 percent
    Malaysian shares edged higher to a three-month
closing high, buoyed by financials and materials. 
    Malayan Banking and Petronas Chemicals Group
 ended up 1.22 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
    Philippine financial markets were closed for a
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3225.62   3213            0.39
 Bangkok            1717.24   1703.82         0.79
 Jakarta            6025.968  5968.75         0.96
 Kuala Lumpur       1811.6    1808.59         0.17
 Ho Chi Minh        991.92    987.05          0.49
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3225.62   3402.92         -5.21
 Bangkok            1717.24   1753.71         -2.08
 Jakarta            6025.968  6355.654        -5.19
 Kuala Lumpur       1811.6    1796.81         0.82
 Ho Chi Minh        991.92    984.24          0.78
 (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
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