Most SE Asian stocks rise as market anticipates dovish Fed

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(July 10): Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, with Thailand leading the pack with a gain of 1%, as market participants counted on US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to stay accommodative in his congressional testimony later in the day.

The market now prices in a 25 basis point rate cut by the Fed at the end of this month, after strong June US jobs data tempered expectations of a deeper cut.

"It's unlikely the Fed would risk ignoring the markets signalling especially after taking a dovish turn at the June FOMC meeting which sparked a broad risk-on rally and overshadowed concerns about slowing (in) the US and global growth," Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets Pte Ltd, said in a note to clients.

Market participants also cheered the start of trade talks between US and Chinese officials on Tuesday, marking a new round of negotiation after the world's two largest economies agreed to a truce in a year-long trade war.

Thai stocks rose the most in three weeks, helped by telecom and energy stocks. Oil explorer PTT PCL gained 1.1%, while Telecom services provider Advanced Info Service PCL rose 2.4%.

The coalition government plans to discuss economic stimulus measures to help offset the impact of a delay in the next state budget, a deputy prime minister said after market hours.

Singapore shares closed higher for the first time in four sessions, propped up by buying in large caps like Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd.

Philippine stocks rose in low-volume trade, driven partly by a 3.2% gain in index heavyweight SM Investment Corp.

Indonesian shares advanced, helped by financial and consumer stocks. Lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) rose 1.4%, while conglomerate Astra International climbed about 2.4%.

Malaysian stocks declined, dragged by losses in industrial and utility stocks.

Change on the day

Market                 Current   Previous close  % move
Singapore              3340.42   3329.46         0.33
Bangkok                1739.43   1721.48         1.04
Manila                 8078.21   8042.04         0.45
Jakarta                6410.683  6388.323        0.35
Kuala Lumpur           1678.97   1682.87         -0.23
Ho Chi Minh            973.65    969.05          0.47

Change so far in 2019

Market                 Current   End 2018        % move
Singapore              3340.42   3068.76         8.85
Bangkok                1739.43   1563.88         11.23
Manila                 8078.21   7,466.02        8.20
Jakarta                6410.683  6,194.50        3.49
Kuala Lumpur           1678.97   1690.58         -0.69
Ho Chi Minh            973.65    892.54          9.09