SE Asia Stocks-Mostly down as investors focus on corporate results
JAKARTA, April 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, while investors keenly watched corporate earnings results. The Malaysian share index led the regional decline with a 1 percent loss, dragged by shares of power company Tenaga Nasional Bhd, down 1.4 percent, and of cigarette firm British American Tobacco Bhd, that fell 8.5 percent. Tenaga posted a 39 percent fall in quarterly earnings on Wednesday, while British American Tobacco's earnings fell 29 percent, prompting target price cuts by several brokerage firms. "The Fed meeting was a non-event, and both global and domestic markets continue to focus on fundamentals and earnings," said Dang Maulida, an analyst with KDB Daewoo Securities in Jakarta. The Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but kept the door open for a hike in June. Meanwhile, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan trimmed its gains after the Bank of Japan kept its policy unchanged. Stocks in Thailand fell 0.8 percent while the Philippine index lost 0.3 percent. Broker SB Equities said in note that the business community in the Philippines, which will elect a new president on May 9, is uncertain about concrete economic platform of the leading presidential candidate. Philippine presidential hopeful Rodrigo Duterte had the chance to outline his economic policy agenda before scores of big businessmen on Wednesday, but chose instead to talk about drugs, shootings and his libido. Bucking the trend, the Indonesian stock index rose 0.1 percent, with shares of brewer PT Multi Bintang Indonesia surging 16 percent to their highest close in six months after first-quarter earnings more than doubled from a year earlier. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Pct close move Singapore 2862.30 2874.72 -0.43 Kuala Lumpur 1674.76 1692.34 -1.04 Bangkok 1399.91 1411.84 -0.84 Jakarta 4848.39 4845.66 0.06 Manila 7162.56 7180.53 -0.25 Ho Chi Minh 591.67 593.96 -0.39 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct move Singapore 2862.3 2882.73 -0.71 Kuala Lumpur 1674.76 1692.51 -1.05 Bangkok 1399.91 1288.02 8.69 Jakarta 4848.39 4593.008 5.56 Manila 7162.56 6952.08 3.03 Ho Chi Minh 591.67 579.03 2.18 (Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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