SE Asia Stocks-Fall as Fed's Yellen makes stronger case for rate hike
By Aparajita Saxena Aug 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were trading lower on Monday, in line with broader Asian peers, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinted that a rate increase was on the cards this year. The probability of a rate hike in the near-term has gone up after Yellen said that a lot of new jobs were being created and economic growth would likely continue at a moderate pace, even though data on Friday showed the U.S. economy growing only sluggishly in the second quarter. Comments by the Fed's No. 2 policymaker, Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, have also bolstered the case for a rate hike this year. The U.S. Fed will meet on Sept. 20-21 during which it is expected to discuss the possibility of an interest rate increase. Markets will generally remain cautious before the September meeting, and will also take cues from the U.S. jobs data due Friday, said Ong Kian Lin at RHB Securities Singapore Pte Ltd. "The most direct impact of the interest rate hike for emerging markets is on the local currency versus the dollar," Ong said. "Once the U.S. dollar strengthens, it will impact oil producing countries that rely on the dollar movement for inputs." Indonesia fell, on track for a second straight session of losses, led lower by utilities. "Given investors were finding the right excuse to take profit post the recent rally, we believe Yellen's speech would have given investors the right excuse to sell," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities, in a note. "We expect JCI (Jakarta Composite Index) to undergo a mild correction today." Plastic products manufacturer Langgeng Makmur Industri Tbk PT, one of the biggest losers on the index, was down 9.76 percent. Singapore shares eased 0.7 percent, with oil and gas stocks losing ground after global oil prices fell about 1 percent on Monday. Oil prices eased after Iraq's output rose and Iran said it would only cooperate in producer talks to freeze output if fellow exporters recognised its right to fully regain market share. Oil rig builders Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Industries were among the biggest losers. Thailand was flat, while the Philippine stock market was closed for the National Heroes Day holiday. Vietnam bucked trend to climb 1.3 percent, led by consumer non-cyclicals. Asian shares slid, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extending losses to 1 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0411 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2836.57 2857.65 -0.74 Bangkok 1543.42 1549.41 -0.39 Jakarta 5372.186 5438.831 -1.23 Kuala Lumpur 1679.89 1683.09 -0.19 Ho Chi Minh 676.16 667.75 1.26 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2836.57 2882.73 -1.60 Bangkok 1543.42 1288.02 19.83 Jakarta 5372.186 4593.008 16.96 Kuala Lumpur 1679.89 1692.51 -0.75 Ho Chi Minh 676.16 579.03 16.77 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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