SE Asia Stocks-Largely down; Indonesia falls ahead of cenbank decision
By Anusha Ravindranath Aug 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Friday, in line with Asian peers, as investors booked profits ahead of the weekend, while a rally in crude boosted Vietnam and Singapore shares. Investors were also confused by mixed messages from the Fed, with hawkish comments from New York Fed President William Dudley and San Francisco Fed President John Williams clashing with the Fed's July meeting minutes this week saying more data is needed before interest rates can rise. Markets are awaiting an annual meeting of central bankers from around the world in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, next week, in which Fed Chair Janet yellen is likely to cement expectations for a slow pace of rate increases. Indonesian shares closed lower after two sessions of gains as traders took a pause ahead of a central bank policy meeting, but posted a weekly gain of 0.72 pct. The bank formally makes the 7-day reverse repurchase rate its new benchmark on Friday, and a slim majority of analysts believe the rate will be held steady on its debut. "The consensus is pretty much a 25-basis point cut. But I would argue that it is unlikely. I think the 7-day reverse repo rate (the new benchmark) would stay unchanged at 5.25 percent," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities Indonesia. Philippine shares ended lower, dragged down by banks. SM Prime Holdings Inc and BDO Unibank Inc were among the top losers. Vietnam shares rose for a third straight session, led by energy stocks such as Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp , and posted a weekly gain of 1 percent. Brent crude oil prices hit an eight-week high as hopes that producers could agree measures to support crude buoyed sentiment. Singapore closed higher as oil and gas stocks such as Sembcorp Industries Ltd gained, but fell 0.82 percent on the week. Thai shares declined, weighed down by industrial stocks including Thai Sugar Terminal PCL, while Malaysia dropped as telecom stocks such as Axiata Group Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd lost ground. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2844.02 2836.98 0.25 Bangkok 1538.76 1547.01 -0.53 Manila 7930.75 7952.81 -0.28 Jakarta 5416.035 5461.45 -0.83 Kuala Lumpur 1687.68 1694.87 -0.42 Ho Chi Minh 662.28 660.65 0.25 Change so far this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2844.02 2882.73 -1.34 Bangkok 1538.76 1288.02 19.47 Manila 7930.75 6952.08 14.08 Jakarta 5416.035 4593.008 17.92 Kuala Lumpur 1687.68 1692.51 -0.29 Ho Chi Minh 662.28 579.03 14.38 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by xxxx)
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