SE Asia Stocks-Flat after U.S. Fed renews prospects of early rate hike
By Anusha Ravindranath May 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded flat-to-slightly lower on Wednesday in line with the small drop in broader Asian shares, after U.S. Fed officials flagged prospects of a rate hike as early as June. Asian markets were lower, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan falling 0.5 percent in early trade. Singapore's Straits Times Index were down 0.4 percent at 0438 GMT, recovering partly from a 0.78 percent fall early in the session, as real estate stocks lost ground. Property investor City Developments Ltd was down 2.72 percent. "Global investors are awaiting the release of FOMC minutes tonight, after some Fed official said there is still a possibility for interest rates to be raised 2-3 times this year," said Reliance Securities in a note to clients. Indonesia edged up as much as 0.23 percent before turning flat, led by gains in energy and telecom services stocks. Telecom company Smartfren Tbk PT rose nearly 3 percent while Telekomunikasi Indonesia was up 0.54 percent. "JCI is expected to trade within a narrow range today, supported by higher oil prices that closed at $48.3/barrel (up by 1.2 percent) and Japan's better-than-expected 1Q16 GDP growth," said Daewoo Securities in a note. Oil prices rose for a second straight day on Tuesday, with U.S. futures hitting seven-month highs, on expectations of a drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles. Philippine stocks snapped a 3-day winning streak, losing as much as 0.49 percent in early trading, before recovering to trade almost flat. For Asian Companies click ; STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current prev close Pct Move Singapore 2775.15 2781.11 -0.21 Bangkok 1403.22 1406.57 -0.24 Manila 7520.87 7524.84 -0.05 Jakarta 4735.654 4729.156 0.14 Kuala Lumpur 1635.66 1633.39 0.14 Ho Chi Minh 625.91 624.75 0.19 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2775.75 2882.73 -3.71 Bangkok 1403.51 1288.02 8.97 Manila 7520.87 6952.08 8.18 Jakarta 4735.013 4593.008 3.09 Kuala Lumpur 1635.1 1692.51 -3.39 Ho Chi Minh 625.91 579.03 8.10 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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