SE Asia Stocks-Largely up; Singapore closes at highest level in 2 yrs

SE Asia Stocks-Largely up; Singapore closes at highest level in 2 yrs

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By Ambar Warrick
July 17 (Reuters) – Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose
on Monday, with Singapore closing at its highest in nearly two
years, as tame inflation and soft domestic demand in the United
States hurt prospects of a third interest rate hike by the
Federal Reserve.
Fed policymakers are confronted with benign inflation and a
tight labour market as they weigh a third rate hike and
announcing plans to start reducing the central bank’s $4.2
trillion portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed
securities.
A tamer Fed bodes well for inflows into Asia as investors
usually look to its markets for better yields.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore shares extended gains
into a third session on Monday, led by financial and real estate
stocks.
DBS Group Holdings closed at its highest in more
than 10 years, while Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust
ended 1.15 percent higher.
Philippine shares closed higher after two consecutive
sessions of falls with industrial and real estate stocks leading
the gains.
Wholesale trader SM Investments Corp closed at its
highest in nearly three weeks, while property developer SM Prime
Holdings Inc ended 0.76 percent higher.
“We have our State of the Nation address coming up a week
from now, followed by the opening of Congress. Markets usually
move higher ahead of the address,” said Joseph Roxas, president
of Manila-based Eagle Equities Inc.
“We expect the Senate to pass tax reform measures, mainly to
lower corporate and individual income taxes.”
Vietnam shares fell 1 percent to close at their
lowest in a week, dragged down by financials.
Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade
fell 2.8 percent to its lowest close in one-and-a-half
months.

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