SE Asia Stocks-Mostly down; Fed, BOJ meetings awaited
April 25 (Reuters) - All Southeast Asian stock markets ended weaker on Monday, led by Singapore, as cautious investors waited for cues ahead of central bank meetings in the United States and Japan, that will be held 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 closed down 1.4 percent to a near-two-week low, while Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) closed 0.7 percent weaker, both led by financials. "JCI retreated in line with regional direction, and volatility will remain ahead of central banks meeting in Japan and the U.S. later this week," said John Teja, director at Jakarta-based Ciptadana Securities. "I think the Fed rate will leave interest rates unchanged on Thursday as global economic and financial developments apparently are weighting on the Fed decision." Malaysia's stock index fell 0.2 percent, while the Philippines Composite Index ended down 0.07 percent. The Thai SET index, the best performer so far this year, retreated from early gains to close down 0.2 percent, and Vietnam's benchmark VN Index also dipped 0.2 percent, snapping a two-day winning streak, as losses in the real estate sector offset early gains in several big caps. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 2900.28 2940.43 -1.37 Bangkok 1408.71 1410.81 -0.15 Manila 7250.13 7255.39 -0.07 Jakarta 4878.862 4914.737 -0.73 Kuala Lumpur 1714.51 1717.96 -0.20 Ho Chi Minh 591.58 592.48 -0.15 Change in 2016 Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2900.28 2882.73 0.61 Bangkok 1408.71 1288.02 9.37 Manila 7250.13 6952.08 4.29 Jakarta 4878.862 4593.008 6.22 Kuala Lumpur 1714.51 1692.51 1.30 Ho Chi Minh 591.58 579.03 2.17 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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