SE Asia Stocks-Mostly down as Fed gains fade
March 31 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed down on Thursday, led by Singapore and Vietnam, as the boost from a U.S. Federal Reserve statement this week scaling back expectations for any interest rate hikes faded. Singapore's Straits Times Index slid 1.1 percent, down 1.45 percent for the quarter. Vietnam dropped 1.5 percent to close at its lowest level since Feb. 29, dragged down by losses in most big caps, led by banks and energy stocks. It ended the quarter 3.1 percent lower. The Philippines lost 0.5 percent, Thailand's SET slipped 0.2 percent and Malaysia ended steady amid $100.19 million net foreign inflows. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday emphasised the need to proceed "cautiously" on tightening policy, pushing back on a handful of her colleagues who have suggested another move may be just around the corner. . "Yesterday's Yellen gains were temporary," said Mixo Das, ASEAN equity strategist at Nomura in Singapore. "Market pricing of Fed hikes is already very dovish -- not much room for it to move further lower." The Jakarta Composite index gained 0.6 percent, ending the quarter with a 5.5 percent gain. Jakarta saw a net foreign inflow of $30.99 million. For Asian Companies click: SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 2840.90 2872.78 -1.11 Bangkok 1407.40 1410.29 -0.18 Manila 7262.30 7299.23 -0.51 Jakarta 4845.371 4816.655 +0.60 Kuala Lumpur 1717.58 1717.82 -0.01 Ho Chi Minh 561.22 569.91 -1.52 Change so far this year Market Current End prev Pct Move yr Singapore 2840.90 2882.73 -1.45 Bangkok 1407.40 1288.02 +9.29 Manila 7262.30 6952.08 +3.08 Jakarta 4845.371 4593.008 +5.49 Kuala Lumpur 1717.58 1692.51 +1.48 Ho Chi Minh 561.22 579.03 -3.08 ($1 = 13,255.0000 rupiah) ($1 = 3.9000 ringgit) (Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Singapore and Shihar Aneez in Colombo; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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