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SE Asia Stocks-Rise slightly on prospects of less hawkish Fed

(Corrects milestone in paragraph six to 21-month from 15-month)

By Sindhu Chandrasekaran

March 21 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose

on Tuesday, in line with Asian peers on the prospects of a less

hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve policy trajectory.

Expectations that the Fed will have to step up rate hikes to

counter inflationary pressure from President Donald Trump's

stimulus are also waning after the U.S. central bank dropped no

hints of an acceleration in credit tightening last

week.

Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, in one of

the first official comments after the Fed raised rates as

expected, reiterated that message on Monday.

"For now I think the Federal Reserve's accommodative

monetary stance is enough of a relief to drive the markets

higher," said Taye Shim, head of research at Jakarta-based Mirae

Asset Sekuritas, adding that investors were also factoring in

the Fed stance that it would let inflation overshoot its 2

percent target.

"There is a little bit more room for the Federal Reserve to

manoeuvre its monetary policy. So I would not be so stuck with

the Federal Reserve's guidance of three rate hikes this year, I

think there is still possibility that it's going to be two rate

hikes this year," said Shim.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan

rose 0.1 percent, staying near a 21-month high

touched on Monday.

Indonesian shares were headed for their sixth

session of gains in seven, supported by energy and financial

stocks.

Coal mines operator Baramulti Sukses Sarana Tbk

and PT Bank Central Asia Tbk both hit record highs,

gaining as much as 24.14 percent and 1.24 percent respectively.

Philippine shares also climbed on the back of gains

in industrials and financials. International Container Terminal

Services Inc rose as much as 4.2 percent, while BDO

Unibank Inc climbed up to 1.7 percent.

Thailand eked out a marginal gain, extending gains

into a fourth straight session, with energy stocks accounting

for more than half of the gains.

Malaysia rose as much as 0.5 percent to its highest

since May 2015. Malayan Banking Bhd gained 1 percent.

For Asian Companies click;

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0432 GMT

Market Current previous Pct Move

close

Singapore 3160.96 3165.7 -0.15

Bangkok 1565.1 1563.54 0.10

Manila 7341.7 7316.57 0.34

Jakarta 5548.137 5533.992 0.26

Kuala Lumpur 1752.77 1749.41 0.19

Ho Chi Minh 715.74 715.07 0.09

Change on year

Market Current End 2016 Pct Move

Singapore 3160.96 2880.76 9.73

Bangkok 1565.1 1542.94 1.44

Manila 7341.7 6840.64 7.3

Jakarta 5548.137 5296.711 4.75

Kuala Lumpur 1752.77 1641.73 6.76

Ho Chi Minh 715.74 664.87 7.7

(Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran; Editing by Subhranshu

Sahu)