By Krishna V Kurup
Jan 19 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
guarded on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen
signalled faster interest rate increases in 2017, and as
investors remained anxious ahead of U.S. President-elect Trump's
inauguration on Friday.
The dollar inched up against major peers early on Thursday
after Yellen said on Wednesday that waiting too long to begin
raising rates could "risk a nasty surprise down the road," and
that it "makes sense" for the Fed to gradually lift rates.
Investors are generally optimistic about stock market
returns over the next six months, according to a UBS survey, but
the potential fallout of Trump's protectionist stance has also
unnerved some. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1F81RE MKTS/GLOB
Yellen's bullish comments overnight strengthened the dollar,
and "the gains at their end spilled over into Asian markets",
said Victor Felix, an analyst with AB Capital Securities in
"Most of the uncertainties for the week, except for Trump's
inauguration on Friday, have already materialized, so investors
are now just waiting for that one event," he said.
Philippine shares .PSI gained the most in the region,
rising 0.7 percent, supported by consumer staples and
The index rose for a second straight session and touched its
biggest intra-day percentage gain in more than a week.
"There is really not much material news to work on in the
Philippines market, so the weak gains in the market are
insignificant," Felix said.
Beverage maker Universal Robina Corp URC.PS and
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co MBT.PS were up 2 percent each.
Thailand shares .SETI were slightly down, with banks and
consumer staple stocks losing the most.
Siam Commercial Bank PCL SCB.BK , the country's
third-largest lender by assets, fell 0.6 percent, while top
convenience store chain CP All PCL CPALL.BK shed 1.7 percent.
Stocks in Vietnam .VNI , Singapore .STI , Malaysia .KLSE
and Indonesia .JKSE were largely muted, while MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was
0.4 percent down at 0340 GMT.
For Asian Companies click; urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nTOPEQA
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS : Change at 0340 GMT
Market Current Prev close Pct Move
Singapore 3004.48 3000.22 0.14
Bangkok 1558.75 1560.83 -0.13
Manila 7209.16 7156.36 0.74
Jakarta 5301.424 5294.784 0.13
Kuala Lumpur 1664.21 1665.02 -0.05
Ho Chi Minh 684.08 683.28 0.12
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3004.48 2880.76 4.29
Bangkok 1558.75 1542.94 1.02
Manila 7209.16 6952.08 3.70
Jakarta 5301.424 5296.711 0.09
Kuala Lumpur 1664.21 1641.73 1.37
Ho Chi Minh 684.08 672.01 1.80
(Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Additional
reporting by Sandhya Sampath; Editing by Sunil Nair)
((Krishna.VKurup@thomsonreuters.com; +91 80 6749 1130; Reuters
Keywords: SOUTHEAST ASIA STOCKS/