PH, Asian markets up after Fed's dovish comments, inflows

Reuters

Posted at Mar 19 2015 07:22 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2015 03:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Major Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday as risk appetite returned to laggard emerging stock markets following the U.S. Federal Reserve's dovish comments on interest rates and economic recovery.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index climbed back above the 7,800 level to close 0.75 higher at 7,814.55.

Among the big gainers were Bloomberry Resorts Corp, JG Summit Holdings Investments, Metro Pacific Investments, Alliance Global Group and PLDT.

Singapore's Straits Times Index gained 0.7 percent to 3,386.16, rebounding from a near two-month closing low on Wednesday, while Jakarta's composite index climbed 0.8 percent after Wednesday's slide to a near one-month low.

Morgan Stanley expected a counter trend rally in emerging equities and a pause in the Japan bull run near term, as Wednesday's FOMC was clearly more dovish than the consensus expected and the US dollar was correcting, its report said.

In Asia ex Japan, it expected Singapore, among yield-sensitive markets, to rally.

Malaysia recorded a net foreign inflows of 241 million ringgit ($65.2 million), Indonesia's net foreign inflows reached 490 billion rupiah, while Thailand saw 791 million baht ($24.2 million) and the Philippines 475 million peso ($10.6 million), stock exchange data showed.

World shares rose back towards all-time highs and a slump then jump in the dollar triggered wild moves in currency markets on Thursday, as investors priced in a later start and a slower pace for future U.S. rate rises.

The Federal Reserve indicated it preferred a more gradual path to normalising U.S. interest rates. It also downgraded its economic growth and inflation projections, signalling it is in no rush to push borrowing costs to more normal levels. - With ANC