SE Asia Stocks-Most down ahead of U.S. Fed chief speech
March 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Monday, with Indonesia posting its one-month closing low, as investors cautiously waited for 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) ended 1.1 percent down, its lowest close since Feb. 29, amid $36.50 million foreign outflow. "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 finished 0.6 percent weaker at its lowest since March 11, Thai stocks fell 0.4 percent, the Philippines lost 0.4 percent, and Malaysia dropped 0.1 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 0.6 percent. European markets are closed for the Easter Monday holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2830.29 2847.39 -0.60 Kuala Lumpur 1702.41 1703.79 -0.08 Bangkok 1389.01 1394.78 -0.41 Jakarta 4773.63 4827.09 -1.11 Manila 7334.52 7360.05 -0.35 Ho Chi Minh 575.72 572.08 +0.64 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2830.29 2882.73 -1.82 Kuala Lumpur 1702.41 1692.51 +0.58 Bangkok 1389.01 1288.02 +7.84 Jakarta 4773.63 4593.00 +3.93 Manila 7334.52 6952.08 +5.50 Ho Chi Minh 575.72 579.03 -0.57 ($1 = 13,365.0000 rupiah) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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