SE Asia Stocks-Mixed after Fed stance; Singapore underperforms
BANGKOK, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday, with Singapore extending slides in line with Asia while the Indonesian benchmark headed for its first gain in three sessions amid a rise in the rupiah and foreign-led buying in select large caps. Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.9 percent after Wednesday's 1.6 percent drop. Malaysia's key index dropped as much as 0.3 percent to a one-week low, while the Thai index was a tad down, moving range-bound in early trading. Trading activities were relatively light on most exchanges, with Malaysia's share trading volume about 24 percent of the full-day average over the past 30 days while the volume in the Philippines was slightly above a third of the average. Investors seem to have stayed away after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen confirmed interest rates would be hiked gradually this year and amid holidays in China for the Lunar New Year. "The bottom line is further fall in G-3 currency remains and baht rise is on the way, helping limit the market loss," said broker KGI Securities in Bangkok. Asian shares shed 1.4 percent as investors sought the safety of Japanese yen, gold and top-rated bonds while dumping U.S. dollars on bets the Federal Reserve could be done raising interest rates. Indonesia was among bright spots in the region as inflows sent shares of Astra International higher by 4.4 percent to their highest level since July 1, 2015, helping the broader Jakarta composite index reverse losses made in the last two days. The rupiah hit a near four-month high, similar to gains in most emerging Asian currencies, amid a fall in the greenback after the Fed's policy stance. Indonesia's central bank believed the rupiah is moving toward its fundamental level. Vietnam will remain closed through Friday for the Lunar New Year holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0609 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2558.51 2582.1 -0.91 Bangkok 1303.51 1304.74 -0.09 Manila 6668.76 6637.48 0.47 Jakarta 4772.312 4732.483 0.84 Kuala Lumpur 1641.78 1644.41 -0.16 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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