Rise after Fed chief's upbeat remarks

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(July 18): Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, in line with broader Asia, as a bullish outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman lifted investor sentiment.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stuck with an upbeat assessment on the U.S. economy, while downplaying the impact of global trade risks on the outlook for rate rises.

"Today's market trend is largely being driven by Powell's confirmation of gradually raising interest rates," said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas, adding "This is exactly what the market was looking for".

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5% after two consecutive sessions of declines, following disappointing China GDP data.

Indonesian shares rose as much as 0.7% with Bank Central Asia gaining 1.4% and coal miner Dian Swastatika climbing 19.4%.

The central bank in Southeast Asia's largest economy is expected to take a pause in its monetary tightening cycle on Thursday, a Reuters poll showed.

"Indonesian market is vulnerable to external factors and solution is out of their control, meaning they can only use domestic measures to stabilise the economy. They're using interest rates to minimise the external impact," Shim said.

An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks was up 0.7%.

Philippine shares advanced 0.7%, led by gains in financials and industrials. JG Summit climbed 3%, while real estate company Ayala Land rose 1.9%.

Malaysian shares inched higher ahead of inflation data with telecom company Axiata Group Bhd rising 3.6% and index heavyweight CIMB Group Bhd gaining 1%.

The benchmark stock index gained 4.4% in the seven consecutive sessions of gains through Tuesday.

The annual inflation rate likely eased to 1.3% in June from 1.8% the previous month, thanks to the withdrawal of a goods and services tax (GST), a Reuters poll showed.

Singapore shares rose as much as 0.6%, while Vietnam stocks were up for a fifth consecutive session.

Thai shares gained up to 0.7%, buoyed by energy stocks. Gas distributor PTT Public Co jumped over 3%.    

Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3250.15 3239.64 0.32
Bangkok 1634.87 1626.07 0.54
Manila 7424.43 7381.68 0.58
Jakarta 5892.298 5861.508 0.53
Kuala Lumpur 1741.32 1737.28 0.23
Ho Chi Minh 930.69 921.27 1.02

 Change on year

Market Current End 2017 Pct Move
Singapore 3250.15 3402.92 -4.49
Bangkok 1634.87 1753.71 -6.78
Manila 7424.43 8558.42 -13.25
Jakarta 5892.298 6355.654 -7.29
Kuala Lumpur 1741.32 1796.81 -3.09
Ho Chi Minh 930.69 984.24 -5.44