SE Asia Stocks-Tepid ahead of Fed meeting; Singapore recovers
By Rashmi Ashok
June 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded in a tight range on Tuesday as caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting kept investors on the sidelines.
The Fed is meeting later in the day amid fresh demands by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut interest rates. However, the central bank is expected to keep rates steady this time while preparing for a rate cut later this year.
"With scant data releases and no significant developments on the trade front, the mood in Asia will likely remain cautious," ING said in a note.
Investors will wait for possible adjustments to the Fed's dot plots before taking on substantial bets, ING added.
Singapore shares .STI rose 0.9%, heading for their first session of gain in three, with conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings JARD.SI adding 1.3% and Venture Corp VENM.SI climbing 1.8%.
The market recovered from the previous session's losses as weak data raised expectations of a possible monetary easing in October.
Financials were among the top gainers, with lenders such as Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp OCBC.SI climbing 0.9%, while DBS Group DBSM.SI added 0.7%.
Indonesian stocks .JKSE rebounded from the previous session's near 1% drop. Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk TLKM.JK added 1%, while cigarette manufacturer Gudang Garam Tbk GGRM.JK advanced 0.8%.
"Indonesia retreated for four trading sessions and it's fair to say that this recovery is only a technical rebound. There has not been too much of a pick-up in volume," said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
"The central bank's rate decision is expected this week and investors are pretty much sidelined," Shim added.
Malaysian stocks .KLSE edged higher, with telecom company Axiata Group AXIA.KL up 1.3%.
Vietnamese stocks .VNI edged lower, dragged mainly by financials.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0326 GMT
Change on the day
Ho Chi Minh
Change so far in 2019
Ho Chi Minh
(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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