June 12, 2018 / 10:50 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Vietnam snaps 8 sessions of gains, investors eye U.S. Fed meeting

    * Refiner Petrovietnam was biggest drag on the Vietnam index
    * Singapore April retail sales down 0.2 pct m/m, up 0.4 pct
y/y
    * N.Korea-U.S. to work towards Korean peninsula
denuclearisation

    By Nicole Pinto
    June 12 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
lower on Tuesday, with Vietnam shares snapping eight sessions of
gains to close weaker, as investors took a cautious stance ahead
of an expected interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.  
 
    The U.S. Federal Reserve is virtually guaranteed to announce
a hike in interest rates on Wednesday. In what could be the most
consequential rewrite of its policy statement in two-and-a-half
years, the Fed may signal how close it is to stopping its rate
hike cycle.
    Indonesian markets were closed for Eid al-Fitr, while the
Philippines markets were closed for Independence Day on Tuesday.

    Southeast Asian markets reacted calmly to the United
States-North Korea summit, where the leaders of both countries
pledged to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean
peninsula, and Washington committed to providing security
guarantees to the Asian nation. The historic summit did not
impact prices on the markets.
    Singapore shares shed previous session's gains to end
lower, pulled down by financial stocks. 
    Data released earlier in the day showed Singapore's retail
sales rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier, but fell 0.2 percent
from the previous month. 
    "Investors continue to reel from losses due to Hyflux's
 debt restructuring," said Liu Jinshu, director of
research, NRA Capital, adding, "There are also talks that banks'
second-quarter results may be affected by Hyflux's debt
restructuring."
    "Investors are likely to look for cues from the Federal
Reserve meeting this week. If they appear dovish ... the market
might just get dragged higher. Otherwise, we would probably have
to wait until the start of the second-quarter earnings season in
late July for more market participation," he added.       
    Vietnam shares snapped a winning streak to close 1.8
percent lower on broad-based losses. Oil and gas refiner
Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp, which ended 5.1
percent down, was the biggest drag on the index. 
    Malaysian shares extended declines to a third
session, weighed down by Malaysia's national electricity utility
Tenaga Nasional. 
    Bucking the trend, Thai shares posted gains for a
second session, underpinned by energy and consumer staple
stocks. 
        
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                            
                    Current   Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3430.69   3441.69         -0.32
 Bangkok            1727.29   1723.11         0.24
 Kuala Lumpur       1764.16   1775.8          -0.66
 Ho Chi Minh        1020.76   1039.02         -1.76
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3430.69   3402.92         0.82
 Bangkok            1727.29   1753.71         -1.51
 Kuala Lumpur       1764.16   1796.81         -1.82
 Ho Chi Minh        1020.76   984.24          3.71
 

 (Reporting by Nicole Pinto; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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