February 23, 2018 / 10:03 AM / in 6 months

SE Asia Stocks-Most higher as U.S. rate fears ease; Philippines down

    * Singapore sees best week in over 1 yr
    * Vietnam top gainer on week
    * Philippines worst performer year-to-date

    Feb 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed
higher on Friday, in line with broader Asia, after comments from
Federal Reserve officials eased worries about faster rate hikes
in the United States.
    St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Thursday that
policymakers need to be careful not to increase rates too
quickly as that could slow the economy, while Dallas counterpart
Robert Kaplan said three rate increases in 2018 was a
"reasonable" base case.
    E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were trading 0.3
percent higher. The index took a hit on Wednesday after minutes
of the Fed's last meeting showed inflation would perk up,
possibly setting the stage for additional rate hikes.

    Asia shares ex-Japan were up over 1 percent.
    In Southeast Asia, financials drove Singapore shares
1.3 percent higher and the FTSE Straits Times Index ended the
week 2.6 percent firmer, its best in over one year.
    United Overseas Bank Ltd rose 2 percent while DBS
Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
Ltd climbed over 2 percent each to all-time closing
highs.
    The city-state reported no consumer inflation in January,
for the first time since late 2016, due to lower accommodation
and private road transportation costs, data showed on Friday.

    Vietnam shares marched 2.5 percent higher and were up
for a fourth session in five. Financials led the gains, with
Vietcombank climbing 6.9 percent to a record close.
    The index ended the week 4.1 percent higher, and is the best
performer in the region so far this year, having gained 12.1
percent.
    Thai and Indonesian shares rose 1.1 percent
and 0.4 percent, respectively, on broad-based buying.
    However, Philippine shares fell 0.6 percent and
settled at their lowest since December 22 as industrials,
financials and real estate stocks lost ground. 
    Conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc was the biggest
drag, down 2.8 percent at its worst close since late-December.
    The benchmark finished the week 1.7 percent lower and is the
only loser so far this year in the region.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on day                                
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3533.22   3488.46         1.28
 Bangkok            1808.06   1788.63         1.09
 Manila             8467.56   8515.57         -0.56
 Jakarta            6619.804  6593.06         0.41
 Kuala Lumpur       1861.5    1855.07         0.35
 Ho Chi Minh        1102.85   1076.03         2.49
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3533.22   3402.92         3.83
 Bangkok            1808.06   1753.71         3.10
 Manila             8467.56   8558.42         -1.06
 Jakarta            6619.804  6355.654        4.16
 Kuala Lumpur       1861.5    1796.81         3.60
 Ho Chi Minh        1102.85   984.24          12.05
 
 (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)
  
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