March 14, 2017 / 10:32 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Higher; investors await Fed meet outcome

    By Ambar Warrick
    March 14 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
closed higher amid thin trading on Tuesday, but concerns that
the U.S. Federal Reserve would announce a hike in interest
rates, as widely expected, after a two-day policy meeting kept
investor sentiment cautious.
    Fed Chair Janet Yellen has already signalled that the U.S.
central bank would likely increase rates at its March 14-15
    "There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, which is
what's holding back the positions of most markets," said Manny
Cruz, an analyst at Manila based Asiasec Equities Inc.
    Indonesian shares closed at a four-month high, led
by telecom and financial stocks.
    PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia closed at a four month
high, while Bank Central Asia ended 0.8 percent
    "The construction sector improved from a year ago, which 
boosted sentiment in Indonesia," said Cruz.
    An index of the 45 most liquid stocks closed 0.4
percent higher.
    Coal miner TB Bukit Asam was up 3.9 percent, while
highways operator PT Jasa Marga closed 2.7 percent
    Vietnam closed 0.6 percent higher, with consumer
staples and industrials gaining the most. 
    Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Co was up 3.4 percent,
while FLC Faros Construction hit a record high.
    Philippines largely held on to gains from earlier in
the session, led by industrials. 
    International Container Terminal Services closed at
a more than five month high. 
    Singapore closed slightly lower, with consumer
staples and real estate stocks dragging the index down. 
    Thai Beverage closed 1.6 percent lower, while
property developer City Developments was down 1.8
    In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan was up 0.3 percent as of 0940 GMT.
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  STOCK MARKETS                                        
  Change on day                                        
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        3143.4        3147.15      -0.12
  Bangkok          1543.15       1535.51      0.50
  Manila           7261.75       7233.09      0.40
  Jakarta          5431.585      5409.372     0.41
  Kuala Lumpur     1722.47       1721.92      0.03
  Ho Chi Minh      714.71        710.17       0.64
  Change so far                               
  Market           Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore        3143.4        2880.76      9.12
  Bangkok          1543.15       1542.94      0.01
  Manila           7261.75       6840.64      5.97
  Jakarta          5431.585      5296.711     2.55
  Kuala Lumpur     1722.47       1641.73      4.92
  Ho Chi Minh      714.71        664.87       7.22

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
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