SE Asia Stocks-Range-bound; Malaysia at record high; Fed meeting eyed
Dec 10 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian markets were range-bound on Tuesday with Malaysia at an all-time high while the Philippines ended at a three-month low as investors awaited cues from a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week over its stimulus tapering timeline. Malaysia's main index hit a record high for a second day, rising to 1,846.92 before closing at 1,843.85 with a 0.1 percent rise. The index was led by a 1.5 percent gain in Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd despite foreign outflows of $77.8 million. Jakarta's Composite Index ended 1.5 percent firmer at a one-week closing high, helped by financials, while Vietnam's benchmark VN Index edged up 0.1 percent to end at a one-week closing high. Investors were cautious about buying ahead of a U.S. Fed meeting on Dec. 17-18. The Fed is expected to begin tapering its asset purchases by March, a Reuters poll showed on Monday, but some economists say it might start as early as this month. Other regional stock markets fell, with the Philippine index dropping 2 percent to its lowest close since Aug. 28 on sluggish economic growth outlook in the fourth quarter, due to a major typhoon in November. Singapore stocks fell over 1 percent to a three-month closing low. The Thai stock market, which saw an outflow of more than $880 million in eight straight sessions through Monday, was closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 394.64 395.66 +0.26 Singapore 3081.72 3113.64 -1.03 Kuala Lumpur 1843.85 1841.87 +0.11 Bangkok - 1367.42 - Jakarta 4275.68 4214.34 +1.46 Manila 5886.40 6008.94 -2.04 Ho Chi Minh 511.60 511.23 +0.07 Change on year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move TR SE Asia Index* 394.64 424.10 -6.95 Singapore 3081.72 3167.08 -2.70 Kuala Lumpur 1843.85 1688.95 +9.17 Bangkok 1367.42 1391.93 -1.76 Jakarta 4275.68 4316.69 -0.95 Manila 5886.40 5812.73 +1.27 Ho Chi Minh 511.60 413.73 +23.66 * The Thomson Reuters South East Asia Index is a highly representative indicator of stocks listed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.