SINGAPORE, March 22 — Most South-east Asian stock markets rose today, with the Philippines bouncing back from steep losses and Vietnam scaling an all-time peak, as the US Federal Reserve’s rate outlook for 2018 was seen as less hawkish than expected.
The Fed raised its interest rate on Wednesday and reiterated two more rate increases this year, signalling caution in its monetary policy tightening pace.
Philippine shares rose 1.1 per cent on broad-based gains, bouncing back from three straight sessions of sharp losses.
The country has experienced significant foreign fund outflows over the past few weeks, with the benchmark down about 6.6 per cent year-to-date.
The Philippine central bank is expected to leave its benchmark rate steady at its monetary policy meeting today, on optimism that annual inflation would ease back to its target range next year, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.
The Fed maintaining its outlook for a total of three rate increases for the year helps retain the allure of higher yielding assets in emerging markets.
Indonesian shares gained 0.4 per cent, helped by gains across the board. Telecom services stocks and materials contributed the most to the benchmark, which broke a six-session losing streak yesterday.
Telekomunikasi Indonesia was the top contributor, rising as much as 1.4 per cent to recoup some of its losses last week.
The index of the country’s 45 most liquid stocks added 0.4 per cent.
Malaysian shares gained 0.3 per cent as financials and consumer staples rose. Malayan Banking Bhd gained as much as 1.4 per cent.
Vietnam shares rose 1.6 per cent to a record, led by gains in consumer staples and utilities. Seafood processing firm Vinh Hoan Corp was up as much as 3.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, Singapore shares lost 0.4 per cent, weighed down by financials, with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd shedding 1.1 per cent.