SE Asia Stocks-Sluggish as investors continue to digest Fed comments
By Geo Tharappel Aug 30 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were flat to lower in lacklustre trading on Tuesday, with the Philippines leading the losses, as investors continued to digest U.S. Federal Reserve officials' hawkish comments. Investors are less sure when the U.S. policy might change after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday the case for a rate hike was strengthening, but provided little detail on when it would next move. While the initial market reaction was to push up the probability of a September hike to 44 percent, investors quickly had second thoughts and by Tuesday the implied chance was back at 36 percent <0#FF:>. Traders also expect the August payrolls report due on Friday to miss expectations, making it much harder for policymakers to contemplate a September tightening. Asian shares outside Japan gained 0.55 percent, recovering around half of Monday's loss. Philippine shares fell as much as 1.6 percent in their worst intraday performance since Aug. 3 and were headed for their fifth session of losses. With most of the catalysts like earnings and GDP numbers already out and the absence of any market-stealing development, stocks are in a correction phase, said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec Equities Inc in Manila. Consumer cyclicals were the biggest losers, with SM Investments Corp shedding 2.54 percent. Indonesian shares fell for a third straight session, led by utilities including Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) Tbk PT. "Tracking the overnight US market strength, we expect JCI to demonstrate a modest rebound," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities Indonesia. Annual inflation rate in August likely dropped to its lowest level since December 2009, a Reuters poll showed. Thai shares eked out marginal gains, shrugging off disappointing July manufacturing output data. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0443 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2830.34 2829.43 0.03 Bangkok 1548.72 1544.15 0.30 Manila 7725 7845.49 -1.54 Jakarta 5346.69 5370.764 -0.45 Kuala Lumpur 1683.03 1681.6 0.09 Ho Chi Minh 670.12 669.44 0.10 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2830.34 2882.73 -1.82 Bangkok 1548.72 1288.02 20.24 Manila 7725 6952.08 11.12 Jakarta 5346.69 4593.008 16.41 Kuala Lumpur 1683.03 1692.51 -0.56 Ho Chi Minh 670.12 579.03 15.73 (Reporting by Geo Tharappel; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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