SE Asia Stocks-Most gain for second session; Thailand at over 2-wk high
June 11 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose for a second session on Thursday helped by gains on Wall Street with the Thai index trading at a more-than-two-week high. However, speculation over an early rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve along with a fall in some currencies like the Indonesian rupiah and the Philippine peso kept investors cautious. Thailand's SET index was up 0.6 percent to its highest since May 25 led by financials and energy stocks, a day after the country's central bank held policy rates steady, while Singapore was up 0.6 percent at a one-week high. The Philippine index gained 0.8 percent, rising for a second straight session from a five-month low hit on Tuesday, and Vietnam was up 0.9 percent with most shares rebounding in robust trade after some profit-taking sessions. The Jakarta Composite Index, however, bucked the trend and was 0.1 percent down, led by state-controlled banks after a report that they will halve lending rates for small businesses. The index will be under pressure in the short term as foreign investors are selling on speculation the Federal Reserve will raise rates, weakness in the rupiah and the risk of rising inflation, John Teja, director of Jakarta-based broker Ciptadana Securities, said. Shares of PT Bank Negara Indonesia were down 3 percent, PT Bank Mandiri fell 2 percent, and PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia lost 2.4 percent. Indonesia's rupiah has fallen around 7.5 percent so far this year, while the Philippine peso hit more than one-year low on Monday and investors are concerned it could hit companies with huge exposures to forex debts and dollar costs. Positive economic data suggest the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than expected as the world's largest economy was regaining speed. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0525 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3346.70 3325.77 +0.65 Kuala Lumpur 1734.72 1735.63 -0.05 Bangkok 1513.04 1504.04 +0.60 Jakarta 4928.12 4933.56 -0.11 Manila 7445.88 7384.27 +0.83 Ho Chi Minh 579.43 574.10 +0.93 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)
© Thomson Reuters 2016 All rights reserved.