SE Asia Stocks-Cautious after Fed minutes; Philippines, Indonesia up

By Chandini Monnappa
July 6 (Reuters) – Southeast Asian markets trod with caution
on Thursday after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last
meeting showed policymakers were split on the outlook for
inflation and how it might affect the future pace of interest
rate rises.
The minutes of the Fed’s June policy meeting released on
Wednesday also showed that several officials wanted to announce
a start to the process of reducing the Fed’s large portfolio of
Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities by the end of
August but others wanted to wait until later in the
year.
“The key parts of the markets are still reluctant to move
forward as the minutes of the Fed meet show that even the
committee itself is still mixed about the proper measures to
reduce the balance sheet of the U.S. Federal Reserve,”
said Rakpong Chaisuparakul, a strategist with KGI Securities
Thailand.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was little changed on Thursday.
Risk sentiment in Asia took a hit this week due to tensions
on the Korean peninsula after North Korea launched an
intercontinental ballistic missile into Japanese waters, causing
the U.S. to warn that it was ready to use force if need be to
stop the missile program.
In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares gained 0.5
percent aided by industrial and financial stocks.
International Container Terminal Services Inc was
up as much as 1.3 percent while Ayala Corp gained as
much as 1.5 percent to touch its highest in three weeks.
Indonesian shares rose 0.4 percent, on the back of
gains in financials and consumer staples.
PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk and Bank
Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT were up as much as 0.8
percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
Vietnam shares gained 0.2 percent, bolstered by
consumer staples and financial stocks.
Vietnam Dairy Products JSC rose as much as 1
percent to hit a record high while Vietcombank climbed
0.9 percent.
On the other end, Singapore shares slipped 0.3
percent, with financial stocks leading the losses.
Thailand dropped 0.3 percent hurt by energy stocks.
Oil prices tumbled about 4 percent on Wednesday on rising
exports by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC), but inched higher on Thursday on strong demand in the
United States.

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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0444 GMT
Change on the day
Market Current previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3236.9 3248.71 -0.36
Bangkok 1570.47 1575.02 -0.29
Manila 7886.78 7848.84 0.48
Jakarta 5847.467 5825.054 0.38
Kuala Lumpur 1766.37 1768.16 -0.10
Ho Chi Minh 780.58 778.32 0.29

Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3236.9 2880.76 12.36
Bangkok 1570.47 1542.94 1.78
Manila 7831.27 6840.64 14.48
Jakarta 5847.467 5296.711 10.40
Kuala Lumpur 1766.37 1641.73 7.59
Ho Chi Minh 780.58 664.87 17.40

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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