Asean stocks higher; Philippine index closes at 1-year top
SINGAPORE: Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged up on Wednesday as investors bet the U.S. Federal Reserve would leave interest rates unchanged, focusing instead on when it would start paring its massive bond holdings.
The Fed is due to release its monetary policy statement at 1800 GMT after the conclusion of a two-day meeting.
“Everybody expects the Fed to do nothing tonight on interest rates,” said Rakpong Chaisuparakul, a strategist with KGI Securities Thailand.
”But I think the more interesting factor to monitor is whether the Fed will signal balance-sheet normalisation.”
In Southeast Asia, Philippine shares rose 0.8 percent to close at their highest since Aug. 10, 2016, with real estate stocks leading the gainers.
Ayala Land rose 1.7 percent to hit a record closing high, while SM Prime Holdings climbed 1.8 percent.
The market is optimistic that the property sector will meet expectations when quarterly results are released starting next week, said Jeffrey Lucero, an equity analyst with RCBC Securities.
Singapore shares pared gains at the close after climbing as much as 0.6 percent in early trade.
DBS Group Holdings rose 1.3 percent, while Singapore Telecommunications hit a four-month closing high. Thai Beverage gave up gains to end 1 percent lower.
Singapore’s industrial production rose 13.1 percent in June from a year earlier, exceeding market expectations.
Vietnam gained 0.9 percent to touch its highest closing level in nearly two weeks. Vinamilk rose 0.8 percent, while Vingroup climbed 1.4 percent.
Malaysian shares hit a near three-week closing high, while the Thai index edged up 0.1 percent.
Indonesia closed marginally lower. – Reuters