SE Asia Stocks-Mostly down on concern over possible Fed rate hike
Nov 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday, with Singapore and the Philippines leading the declines after U.S. Federal Reserve officials' comments on a likely December interest rate hike dented sentiment. Singapore's Straits Times Index dropped as much as 1.3 percent to its lowest since Oct. 7 and the Philippine benchmark index fell as much as 0.8 percent to its lowest since Oct. 5. Both indexes were dragged down by financial and industrial shares. U.S. Fed officials lined up behind a likely December interest rate hike with one key central banker saying the risk of waiting too long was now roughly in balance with the risk of moving too soon to normalize rates after seven years near zero. Other Fed policymakers argued that inflation should rebound, allowing the Fed to soon lift rates from near zero though probably proceed gradually after that. Investor sentiment was also dented due to a plunge in commodity prices to multi-year lows on worries that slower global growth may worsen a supply glut. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp fell 0.9 percent and United Overseas Bank was down 1.1 percent, dragging the overall index in Singapore. Malaysia and Thailand edged down 0.1 percent each. Bucking the trend, the Jakarta Composite Index was up 0.3 percent, while Vietnam was 0.1 percent firmer. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0542 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2925.17 2959.01 -1.14 Kuala Lumpur 1661.43 1663.20 -0.11 Bangkok 1383.24 1384.29 -0.08 Jakarta 4475.55 4462.23 +0.30 Manila 6854.70 6909.82 -0.80 Ho Chi Minh 606.13 605.58 +0.09 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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