SE Asia Stocks-Rangebound-to-weak; Indonesia banks up ahead of rate decision

lunes 16 de marzo de 2015 03:30 GYT

BANGKOK, March 16 (Reuters) - Indonesian stocks edged up on
Monday as bargain-hunting emerged in banking shares a day ahead
of the central bank's decision on interest rates, while other
markets were rangebound-to-weaker awaiting cues on interest rate
direction from the United States.
    Jakarta's composite index was up 0.33 percent,
recovering from minor early losses and the fall on Friday.
    Foreign invertors led buyers in banking shares with Bank
Central Asia, Bank Mandiri and Bank Rakyat
Indonesia among those actively traded, stock exchange
data showed.
    Thirteen out of 14 economists expected the benchmark rate
 will be kept at 7.5 percent on Tuesday to aid the rupiah
    The rupiah hit a fresh 17-year low, while sluggish exports
and imports in February offset a higher-than-expected trade
    The Thai SET Index headed for a second straight day
of falls to 1,522.18. Brokers said the slide was in part due to
a bout of short-selling in large-caps.
    "For short-term strategy, we advise investors to sell the
rallies and buy the dips in shares of companies standing to
benefit from the recent interest rate cut by the Bank of
Thailand," said broker Phillip Securities in a report.
    Losses in Bangkok were led by shares of True Corporation
, which dropped 3 percent, and Bangkok Bank,
which slipped to its lowest since May 2014.
    A two-day U.S. Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting
on March 17-18 being keenly watched by investors in the region
for clues on the timing of an interest rate hike. 
    The Philippine main index touched a two-week low,
while Vietnam hit its lowest since Feb. 11. Malaysian
shares were 0.2 percent higher while stocks in Singapore
 rebounded from a more-than-seven-week closing low on
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 Change at 0651 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3385.40       3362.77       +0.67
 Kuala Lumpur       1785.26       1781.75       +0.20
 Bangkok            1522.18       1541.55       -1.26
 Jakarta            5444.63       5426.47       +0.33
 Manila             7749.84       7809.54       -0.76
 Ho Chi Minh         582.06        586.10       -0.69
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)