SE Asia Stocks: Markets firmer on Fed stimulus hopes; Malaysia at record high
BANGKOK, July 17 – Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose today, extending their gains for a third day with Malaysia hitting an all-time high on hopes of a further monetary stimulus from the US Federal Reserve.
Malaysia closed up 0.2 per cent after hitting an all-time high of 1,646.97 points, helped by foreign inflows of US$16.62 million. Thailand gained 0.8 per cent, rising to its highest since May 8.
Singapore gained 0.5 per cent to touch its highest since April 2.
Trading volumes in Bangkok, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur were higher than their respective 30-day averages due to bargain hunting as investors expected further stimulus from the Federal Reserve, while awaiting its Chairman Ben Bernanke’s view on the US economy expected later in the day.
Weak US retail sales and a lower International Monetary Fund global growth forecast today raised hopes of more monetary stimulus from the Fed, as Bernanke was set to give his semi-annual Congressional testimony today and tomorrow.
Indonesia gained 0.8 per cent to hit an over two-month high. Bucking the trend, the Philippines edged down 0.2 per cent after outperforming the region in the previous session. – Reuters