March 19, 2018 / 4:27 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most muted in run up to Fed rate decision

    * U.S. Federal Reserve rate decision due on March 21
    * Philippines biggest pct loser in region 
    * Vietnam set to gain for sixth straight session 

    By Aaron Saldanha
    March 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were
subdued on Monday, in line with broader Asia, as investors
waited for clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy tightening
pace.
    The Fed is likely to raise rates at its two-day meeting,
which ends on March 21. The market focus is on Fed Chair Jerome
Powell's commentary on March 22, which may provide hints on the
number of rate increases in store for the rest of the year.
    "As far as equities go, I think people will be a bit more
risk-off if they are more rate hikes than expected," said Fio
Dejesus, an equity research analyst at RCBC Securities.
    Asia shares outside Japan dropped 0.2
percent. 
    Philippine shares fell 0.8 percent as industrials and
financials led the losses. 
    JG Summit Holdings Inc fell as much as 3.6 percent.
    "You have to take into account the Philippines has already
been correcting for the past two weeks, so perhaps the
valuations are now better than they have been recently," Dejesus
said.
    The benchmark has lost 4.4 percent year-to-date after
gaining about 25 percent in 2017.
    The Singapore index was down 0.1 percent, mainly due
to weakness in financial stocks. Lender Oversea-Chinese Banking
Corp Ltd weighed the most on the benchmark as it lost
as much as 1.1 percent.
    Thai shares fell on losses in energy stocks, with
PTT Pcl dropping 2.2 percent.
    Indonesia's benchmark held steady as losses in
consumer discretionary stocks offset gains in the telecom and
energy sectors.
    The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
was little changed. 
    Malaysian shares edged 0.1 percent higher, as
financials and telecom services stocks rose.
    DiGi.Com Bhd gained as much as 1.1 percent.
    Meanwhile, Vietnam shares rose 0.6 percent and were
on track for a sixth straight winning session on strength in
real estate stocks and industrials.    

For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change as at 0343 GMT
    
  Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
  Singapore              3508      3512.14         -0.12
  Bangkok                1810.26   1811.76         -0.08
  Manila                 8172.9    8238.15         -0.79
  Jakarta                6304.918  6304.952        0.00
  Kuala Lumpur           1848.82   1846.39         0.13
 Ho Chi Minh             1157      1150.19         0.59
                                                   
  Change so far in 2018                            
  Market                 Current   End 2017        Pct Move
  Singapore              3508      3402.92         3.09
  Bangkok                1810.26   1753.71         3.22
  Manila                 8172.9    8558.42         -4.50
  Jakarta                6304.918  6355.654        -0.80
  Kuala Lumpur           1848.82   1796.81         2.89
  Ho Chi Minh            1157      984.24          17.55
 


 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
Gayathri)
  
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