November 29, 2018 / 4:31 AM / 6 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Jump after dovish-sounding Fed remarks

    * Investors may have misinterpreted Fed Chair's comments
    * Indonesia hits near three-month high

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    Nov 29 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks jumped on Thursday
after dovish-sounding comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Jerome Powell boosted investor confidence in riskier assets.
    Indonesian and Philippine stocks rose the most in the region
after Powell on Wednesday said the central bank's policy rate is
now "just below" estimates of a level that neither brakes nor
boosts a healthy U.S. economy.
    Investors took that as a signal that the Fed's three-year
tightening cycle was drawing to a close, pushing the MSCI's
broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 0.8 percent higher.
    Stock markets, however, may have misinterpreted the Fed's
message and focused only on a portion of Powell's remarks, DBS
Group Research strategists said in a report.
    "Other parts of the message acknowledged that data
dependence will be more important going forward," DBS' Eugene
Leow and Philip Wee said, suggesting that if U.S. economic data
were strong, the Fed should be able to deliver more interest
rate hikes in 2019.
    Indonesian stocks rose as much as 1.55 percent to a
near three-month high.
    Financial and consumer staples stocks were the top
contributors to the rise, with Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT
 rising 4 percent and Telekomunikasi Indonesia
(Persero) Tbk Perusahaan Perseroan PT climbing 1.6
    With a 1.2 percent advance, Philippine stocks hit
their highest in over two months, helped by real estate and
industrials shares. Ayala Land Inc gained 3.5 percent,
while SM Investments Corp was 1.5 percent higher.
    Technology stocks helped Singapore shares rise 0.8
percent and Venture Corp Ltd rose 1.2 percent, while
City Developments Ltd strengthened 2.4 percent.
    The Malaysian benchmark rose 0.9 percent as IHH
Healthcare Bhd jumped 8.2 percent and Axiata group Bhd
 rose 5.2 percent.
    Thai and Vietnamese stocks rose about 0.5
percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
    Gains across Southeast Asian markets follow three days of
trading on expectations about the outcome of a meeting on
Saturday between U.S. and Chinese leaders, which could decide
the course of a damaging trade war between the two countries.
For Asian Companies click:

 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3120.06   3094.48         0.83
 Bangkok            1648.55   1640.63         0.48
 Manila             7473.59   7382.43         1.23
 Jakarta            6074.425  5991.246        1.39
 Kuala Lumpur       1702.46   1686.55         0.94
 Ho Chi Minh        933.92    930.2           0.40
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End prev yr     Pct Move
 Singapore          3120.06   3402.92         -8.31
 Bangkok            1648.55   1753.71         -6.00
 Manila             7473.59   8,558.42        -12.68
 Jakarta            6074.425  6,355.65        -4.42
 Kuala Lumpur       1702.46   1796.81         -5.25
 Ho Chi Minh        933.92    984.24          -5.11
 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; editing by Sai
Sachin Ravikumar)
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