SE Asia Stocks-Fall as Fed rate hike signals get louder
By Aparajita Saxena Aug 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Monday after comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinting at an interest rate hike weighed on investor sentiment. At the Fed's annual gathering for global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Yellen said the case for a rate hike has strengthened in recent months as the labour market and economy improved. While she gave no hints on the timing of a hike, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said Yellen's speech was consistent with expectations for possible rate increases this year. Fischer said the August nonfarm payrolls report due on Friday was likely to be key to the decision over a hike in the near term. Markets will generally remain cautious before the September meeting, and will also take cues from the U.S. jobs data, 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 dollar strengthens, it will impact oil producing countries that rely on the dollar movement for inputs." Indonesian shares underperformed other markets in the region and posted their worst intraday fall in a month before closing down 1.3 percent. Utilities led the fall with Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) Tbk PT declining 4.48 percent. Singapore shares closed down 1 percent, with oil and gas stocks losing ground after global crude prices fell on rising Iraq output and a stronger dollar. Oil rig builders Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Industries were among the biggest losers. Vietnam shares ended 0.25 percent higher after rising as much as 1.78 percent earlier in the session to their highest in more than a month. "We believe that in the coming week, (Vietnam) market is likely to recognise positive correction and cumulation," Vietcombank Securities said in a note. Malaysia and Thailand ended slightly lower, while the Philippine stock market was closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2829.43 2857.65 -0.99 Bangkok 1544.15 1549.41 -0.34 Jakarta 5370.764 5438.831 -1.25 Kuala Lumpur 1681.6 1683.09 -0.09 Ho Chi Minh 669.44 667.75 0.25 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2829.43 2882.73 -1.85 Bangkok 1544.15 1288.02 19.89 Jakarta 5370.764 4593.008 16.93 Kuala Lumpur 1681.6 1692.51 -0.64 Ho Chi Minh 669.44 579.03 15.61 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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