Philippine stocks lead SE Asia peers ahead of Fed outcome

Philippine stocks lead SE Asia peers ahead of Fed outcome

Philippine stocks rose as hopes of a tax reform package boosted sentiment, while most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday as investors trimmed positions ahead of the outcome of a US Federal Reserve meeting.

The Fed is due to announce its decision at 2am (Thailand time) on Thursday and is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged, but could begin paring its bond holdings, with reductions likely to start in coming months.

"We still have mixed sentiment. Some are still on the upswing, but some have seen profit-taking after reaching new highs, such as Thailand. But today, we are waiting for the Federal Open Market Committee meeting outcome", said Teerada Charnyingyong, a strategist at Phillip Capital Thailand.

Philippine shares closed 0.7% higher, underpinned by hopes of a tax reform package aimed at generating revenue to fund a multi-billion dollar infrastructure programme, to be taken up for discussion by the country's Senate this week.

Conglomerate JG Summit and SM Investment, up 2.5% and 0.8%, were the biggest contributors to index gains.

Philippine central bank governor said on Wednesday that it can manage further bouts of volatility in peso, the worst performing currency in the region, as monetary authorities elsewhere prepare to unwind their policy of easy money.

Singapore shares closed 0.2% lower, dragged by industrial stocks. Jardine Strategic Holdings was the top loser, falling 2.54%.

Malaysia shares shrugged off August inflation data, released earlier in the day, which rose above expectations and edged closer to the upper end of the central bank's target range.

CIMB Group Holdings closed 2.3% down, extending losses into a third session and Tenaga Nasional Bhd fell 0.4%.

Southeast Asian stock markets





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