SE Asia Stocks - Major markets retreat; Thai VAT rate plan lifts retailers

viernes 20 de marzo de 2015 06:46 GYT

BANGKOK, March 20 (Reuters) - Most major Southeast Asian
stock markets fell on Friday as investors booked profits a day
after a rally on easing concerns about an imminent Fed rate
hike, but Thai retailers outperformed after a plan to maintain
the value-added tax rate.
    Late buying in shares such as Home Product and
Big C Supercenter helped trim losses in the broader
market. The SET index ended the day down 0.14 percent,
with a weekly loss of 0.75 percent, its fifth straight week.
    Thai Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said on
Friday the government plans to keep the value-added tax at 7
percent for another year from the end of September to support
the economy. 
    Malaysia and Indonesia retreated but still
ended the week up 1.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. The
Philippines closed nearly unchanged after early losses,
with a weekly rise of 0.1 percent.
    Vietnam closed up 0.3 percent on the day, declining
1.8 percent on the week. 
    Asian stocks dipped as Federal
Reserve-inspired gains petered out. The Fed on Wednesday opened
the door further for an interest rate hike but signalled a more
cautious outlook for U.S. growth, cooling speculation for
tightening in June. 
    Bucking the trend, Singapore was up 0.8 percent,
advancing 1.5 percent on the week. Shares of Noble Group jumped
3 percent after it said Prudential Plc has increased its
stake in the company to more than 5 pct and become a substantial
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 Change on day
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3412.44       3386.16       +0.78
 Kuala Lumpur       1803.65       1809.13       -0.30
 Bangkok            1529.96       1532.13       -0.14
 Jakarta            5443.06       5453.85       -0.20
 Manila             7818.38       7814.55       +0.05
 Ho Chi Minh         575.44        573.74       +0.30
 Change on year
 Market             Current       End 2014    Pct Move
 Singapore          3412.44       3365.15       +1.41
 Kuala Lumpur       1803.65       1761.25       +2.41
 Bangkok            1529.96       1497.67       +2.16
 Jakarta            5443.06       5226.95       +4.13
 Manila             7818.38       7230.57       +8.13
 Ho Chi Minh         575.44        545.63       +5.46
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)