SE Asia Stocks-Mostly down; Fed, BOJ meetings awaited
JAKARTA, April 25 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday, led by Singapore and Indonesia, as cautious investors waited for cues ahead of central bank meetings in the United States and Japan later this week. Bank of Japan policymakers are likely to discuss further easing when they meet on Wednesday and Thursday, while the U.S. Federal Reserve, which lifted its benchmark overnight interest rate in December for the first time in nearly a decade, meets on Wednesday. The Singapore share index was down 0.9 percent to a one-week low at 0636 GMT, while Indonesia was 0.7 percent weaker, both led by financials. "Sentiment is expected to be neutral to cautious today, ahead of the Fed meeting the next two days," Singapore-based NetResearch Asia said in a note to investors. "Though expectations are that the Fed will keep status quo at this meeting, its usual post-meeting comments will be closely watched for clues on when an interest rate hike is expected." Malaysia's stock index was down 0.4 percent, while the Philippines Composite Index traded 0.3 percent weaker. Bucking the trend, the Thai SET index was up 0.1 percent, while Vietnam's benchmark VN Index was 0.5 percent firmer, heading for its third straight session of gains, led by banking stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0636 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2913.76 2940.43 -0.91 Bangkok 1412.43 1410.81 0.11 Manila 7232.86 7255.39 -0.31 Jakarta 4879.623 4914.737 -0.71 Kuala Lumpur 1711.24 1717.96 -0.39 Ho Chi Minh 595.59 592.48 0.52 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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