SE Asia Stocks-Most down on U.S. Fed rate hike concerns; Singapore up
BANGKOK, May 25 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday, weighed down by renewed concerns about a U.S. interest rate hike, but shares in Singapore eked out gains amid selective buying ahead of inflation data for April. Singapore's key index edged up 0.3 percent at 3,459.22. Shares of Hongkong Land Holdings and palm plantation firm Wilmar International both climbed more than 1 percent. They were among the top percentage gainers on the index. A Reuters poll showed Singapore's consumer price index in April probably fell from a year earlier for the sixth straight month, likely dragged down by lower housing costs. Shares in the city-state will likely trade in a tight range with a lack of fresh factors given the long weekend in the United States for the Memorial Day break, said broker NRA Capital in a report. Malaysia's key index fell 0.95 percent, hitting its lowest since Jan. 22, led down by a 3.5 percent drop in shares of Tenaga Nasional. Stocks in Indonesia and the Philippines both traded in negative territory, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed. Asian shares got off to a lacklustre start on Monday, after rising inflation and a hawkish tone from the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair rekindled expectations that the Fed is on track to hike interest rates. In Bangkok, the SET index was down 0.6 percent, hovering near a one-week low. Broker KGI Securities said concerns about a U.S. Fed rate hike may weigh slightly on Asian equities and possibly slow the recent strong inflows, while investors would focus on domestic economic data. "Some traders may also wait for Thai April economic data i.e. exports/imports and domestic demand indices released this week," KGI said in a report. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0411 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3459.22 3450.18 +0.26 Kuala Lumpur 1770.60 1787.50 -0.95 Bangkok 1515.55 1523.86 -0.55 Jakarta 7291.85 5315.15 -0.44 Manila 7772.63 7810.17 -0.48 Ho Chi Minh 561.44 561.82 -0.07 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anand Basu)
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