January 31, 2019 / 4:10 AM / 20 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-All rise; Indonesia hits near 11-month high

    * Philippines gains 8.4 percent in Jan
    * Thailand hits over 7-week high
    * Singapore, Malaysia snap 3 straight days of losses

    By Mensholong Lepcha
    Jan 31 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks rose on Thursday,
in line with broader Asia, as the U.S. Federal Reserve held
interest rates steady while signalling its three-year drive to
tighten monetary policy may be at an end.
    A dovish Fed helped MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan rise 0.7 percent to its
highest since Oct. 4.
    The Fed kept rates at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent as widely
expected, which are well below historical averages.
    Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made it clear that the
U.S. central bank would be "patient" before making any further
moves in raising borrowing costs.
    Investors now focus their attention on a crucial round of
trade talks between high-level U.S.-China officials which began
on Wednesday aimed at easing a months-long tariff war.

    The positive developments helped offset sentiment emanating
from bleak Chinese factory data which showed activity contracted
for a second straight month in January, pointing to further
strains on China's economy that could heighten risks to global
growth.     
    Indonesian shares jumped as much as 0.9 percent to
hit a near 11-month high. The index has gained 5.2 percent in
January, on track for three straight months of gains.
    Unilever Indonesia gained as much as 1.7 percent,
while Bank Central Asia climbed as much as 1.1
percent.
    Philippine shares led gains in Southeast Asia, rising
over 1 percent. The benchmark has outperformed regional peers in
so far in 2019, gaining 8.4 percent in January and on track for
its biggest monthly gain since March 2016. 
    BDO Unibank and SM Investment were the top
boost, rising as much as 2.5 percent and 2 percent,
respectively.
    Thai shares were up as much as 0.9 percent, hitting
an over 7-week high, with investors awaiting the country's trade
data for December due later in the day.  
    Singapore and Malaysia shares were on track
to snap three consecutive days of losses, each rising as much as
0.7 percent.
    Singapore shares were up on broad-based gains, with
management services firm ComfortDelGro Corp rising as
much as 2.6 percent, while technology services provider Venture
Corp hitting an over 3-1/2 month high.
    
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0342 GMT
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3189.17   3174.38         0.47
 Bangkok                1644.06   1632.6          0.70
 Manila                 8089.68   7979.95         1.38
 Jakarta                6511.423  6464.189        0.73
 Kuala Lumpur           1692.3    1684.11         0.49
 Ho Chi Minh            916.99    915.84          0.13
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3189.17   3068.76         3.92
 Bangkok                1644.06   1563.88         5.13
 Manila                 8089.68   7,466.02        8.35
 Jakarta                6511.423  6,194.50        5.12
 Kuala Lumpur           1692.3    1690.58         0.10
 Ho Chi Minh            916.99    892.54          2.74
 


 (Reporting by Mensholong Lepcha; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)
  
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