SE Asia Stocks-Most down ahead of U.S. Fed chief speech
March 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday with Indonesia hitting its lowest in more than two weeks led by financials as investors cautiously awaited cues on U.S. economic growth from the Federal Reserve chief. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak on U.S. economic outlook and monetary policy on Tuesday. A few other Fed policymakers are also due to speak on the same day, making the Fed's policy the biggest focus for now.. The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) was down 1.3 percent at 0651 GMT, hovering at its lowest since March 10. "JCI has underperformed in the absence of key catalysts," said John Teja, director at Jakarta-based Ciptadana Securities. "Possible Fed rate hike in April and weakness of rupiah in line with other emerging currencies is also pressurising." Singapore was down 0.7 percent at its lowest since March 11, Thai stocks traded 0.3 percent weaker, the Philippines lost 0.7 percent, and Malaysia was down 0.2 percent. The Singapore index is likely to consolidate this week given the lack of fresh factors, Net Research Asia said in note to investors, while analysts in Bangkok said the focus was on the Fed and U.S. economic growth. Bucking the trend, Vietnam's benchmark VN Index gained 0.5 percent. European markets are closed for the Easter Monday holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0712 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2826.69 2847.39 -0.73 Kuala Lumpur 1700.72 1703.79 -0.18 Bangkok 1390.05 1394.78 -0.34 Jakarta 4764.71 4827.09 -1.29 Manila 7306.19 7360.05 -0.73 Ho Chi Minh 575.01 572.08 +0.51 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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