SE Asia Stocks-Tepid as Yellen speech awaited; Philippines falls nearly 1 pct
By Krishna V Kurup Aug 24 (Reuters) - Philippine stocks fell nearly 1 percent to a 3-week low on Wednesday, led by JG Summit Holdings Inc and Universal Robina Corp, while most other Southeast Asian markets were tepid in line with broader Asian shares. Global sentiment was hit by falling oil prices on an unexpected buildup in U.S. crude stocks and fears over China demand, while investors focused on a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen whether she would adopt a more hawkish tone in her speech on Friday. Meanwhile, upbeat U.S. housing data added to market uncertainty over whether the Fed will raise interest rates this year. [ The Philippine stock index was headed for its second session of losses, with JG Summit shedding as much as 5.1 percent and Universal Robina falling up to 3.1 percent. The market is going to trade sideways for the rest of the week on expectation Yellen's speech could give clues about whether there would be an interest rate hike in September, said Grace Aller, an analyst with AP Securities in Manila. Singapore stocks gained as much as 0.7 percent and posted their biggest single-day percentage gain in two weeks. Financial stocks led the gains, with DBS Group Holdings Ltd rising 1.7 percent and United Overseas Bank Ltd adding 1.4 percent. Indonesian shares were slightly down with healthcare stocks being the biggest drag. Kalbe Farma Tbk PT and Mitra Keluarga Karyasehat Tbk PT fell 3.6 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. "We expect JCI (Jakarta Composite Index) to technical rebound within the range of 5,400-5,470," Trimegah Securities said in a note. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4 percent as of 0450 GMT. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0450 GMT Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 2866.72 2850.43 0.57 Bangkok 1545.06 1540.06 0.32 Manila 7862.98 7935.18 -0.91 Jakarta 5406.923 5417.14 -0.19 Kuala Lumpur 1683.71 1683.07 0.04 Ho Chi Minh 660.94 659.16 0.27 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2866.72 2882.73 -0.56 Bangkok 1545.06 1288.02 19.96 Manila 7862.98 6952.08 13.10 Jakarta 5406.923 4593.008 17.72 Kuala Lumpur 1683.71 1692.51 -0.52 Ho Chi Minh 660.94 579.03 14.15 (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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