SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Malaysia outperforms amid foreign inflows
March 29 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended mixed on Tuesday as investors turned cautious after sluggish U.S. consumer spending data suggested the Fed may opt for caution on rate hikes this year. Malaysia outperformed other markets in the region with a gain of 0.7 percent amid net foreign inflows worth $77.21 million, bourse data showed. Thailand rose 0.3 percent amid net foreign inflows worth $20.28 million, while the Jakarta composite index recovered from a near one-month low to end 0.2 percent higher. Investors waited for cues from Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech later in the day after a report from the U.S. Commerce Department on Monday showed consumer spending in January was not as strong as previously reported. That, together with other data showing a widening in the goods trade deficit in February, indicated economic growth remained sluggish in the first quarter. Yellen will speak on the 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.. Singapore fell 0.4 percent, while the Philippines closed 0.8 percent weaker. Vietnam's benchmark VN Index closed down 1.3 percent, posting its biggest drop since Jan. 21, with most blue chips heading south in a technical correction amid downbeat oil prices. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2819.08 2830.29 -0.40 Kuala Lumpur 1715.04 1702.41 +0.74 Bangkok 1392.85 1389.01 +0.28 Jakarta 4781.30 4773.63 +0.16 Manila 7274.40 7334.52 -0.82 Ho Chi Minh 568.28 575.72 -1.29 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2819.08 2882.73 -2.21 Kuala Lumpur 1715.04 1692.51 +1.33 Bangkok 1392.85 1288.02 +8.14 Jakarta 4781.30 4593.00 +4.10 Manila 7274.40 6952.08 +4.64 Ho Chi Minh 568.28 579.03 -1.86 ($1 = 3.9955 ringgit) ($1 = 35.4100 baht) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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