SE Asia Stocks-Fed rate hike bets weigh on sentiment; Philippines up
By Krishna V Kurup Aug 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed little changed on Monday after comments from Fed officials prompted more bets on a U.S. rate hike by the end of this year, while investors trod carefully ahead of a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will speak at the annual mountain retreat of central bankers on Friday, with markets watching closely for comments on the U.S. economy. On Sunday, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer gave a generally upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy's current strength, saying the job market was close to full strength and still improving. New York Fed President William Dudley had said last week a rate hike would be possible at the Fed's next policy meeting in September. Markets are reacting to Fed official's comments "pointing to a possible rate hike towards the end of the year" which "has sparked apprehensions on the regional equities," said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based Asiasec Equities. Philippine shares closed 0.6 percent higher, boosted by financials and telecoms. SM Prime Holdings Inc rose 1.2 percent, while PLDT Inc gained 1.15 percent. The Philippine market is moving sideways in the absence of fresh developments, Cruz said, adding that the market was expected to confine in a range of 7,900-8,050 this week. The central bank has sufficient policy space to counter risks to economic growth and ample liquidity and credit to support the economy, a deputy governor said on Monday. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would stick to deficit spending until he steps down in 2022 to ensure sustainable economic growth beyond his six-year term, his budget minister told lawmakers on Monday. Vietnam shares ended 0.7 percent lower, dragged down by consumer non-cyclicals and industrials. Vietnam Dairy Products JSC fell 2.1 percent, while Cotec Construction JSC was down 1.3 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4 percent at 0930 GMT. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 2841.19 2844.02 -0.10 Bangkok 1539.24 1538.76 0.03 Manila 7981.21 7930.75 0.64 Jakarta 5427.175 5416.035 0.21 Kuala Lumpur 1691.07 1687.68 0.20 Ho Chi Minh 657.68 662.28 -0.69 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2841.19 2882.73 -1.44 Bangkok 1539.24 1288.02 19.50 Manila 7981.21 6952.08 14.80 Jakarta 5427.175 4593.008 18.16 Kuala Lumpur 1691.07 1692.51 -0.09 Ho Chi Minh 657.68 579.03 13.58 (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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