South-east Asia markets mixed ahead of US Federal Reserve meeting
(Reuters) - South-east Asian markets were range-bound on Wednesday as nervous investors awaited to hear when the US Federal Reserve would begin unwinding its stimulus programme, a major driver for global risk assets in recent years.
A better-than-expected report on US house builder confidence and inflation data suggesting low but stable price growth, supported the view that economic conditions are adequate for the Fed to start scaling back its US$85 billion monthly bond-buying.
Bangkok's SET index was up 0.9 per cent at 1,349.34 points by midday despite a weaker baht, led by an over 5.8 per cent gain in Advanced Info Service and a 3.1 per cent rise in Total Access Communication.
The market's expectation of "not too bad news" from the Fed meeting and smaller foreign outflows have boosted sentiment, Teerada Charnyingyong, a Bangkok-based strategist at broker Phillip Securities, said.