SE Asia Stocks-Sluggish on policy uncertainty; Indonesia gains
Sept 15 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks were sluggish on Thursday as speculation over the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve's next interest rate hike and volatile oil prices put investors in risk-off mode. The Bank of England at its policy meeting later in the day, is expected to stand pat after last month's policy easing, and provide a signal for future moves. Globally, there is still pressure on equity markets, led by a steep fall in oil prices, Trimegah Securities Indonesia said in a note. Singapore shares were down 0.4 percent, hitting a near three-month low, pulled down by consumer services and oil and gas stocks. Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd fell 2.8 percent, while Sembcorp Marine Ltd dropped 0.8 percent. Investors are on risk-off mode as the odds for a U.S. interest rate next week are creeping up, though market participants still believe it is going to be in December after the U.S. presidential elections, said Andrew Chow, associate director at UOB Kay Hian in Singapore. Oil, which investors see as a proxy of global growth, is also affecting the market, he added. Philippine shares fell marginally and were headed for a fourth session of losses with telecom services and energy stocks falling the most. Telecom giant PLDT Inc and energy company San Miguel Corp fell more than 2 percent each. Bucking the trend, Indonesian stocks rose 1 percent after four straight days of loss, led by telecom services and consumer non-cyclicals. There was some buying in JCI (Jakarta Composite Index) on Wednesday afternoon, especially in high quality big caps, indicating that bargain hunters have begun buying more aggressively, Trimegah Securities Indonesia said. "Expect JCI to have a potential rebound within the range of 5120-5214." Telecom company PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk rose 2.3 percent, while PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk was up 3.1 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0413 GMT Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 2798.29 2809.35 -0.39 Bangkok 1462.73 1458.19 0.31 Manila 7523.82 7546.01 -0.29 Jakarta 5196.412 5146.038 0.98 Kuala Lumpur 1655.26 1661.39 -0.37 Ho Chi Minh 657.37 656.64 0.11 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2798.29 2882.73 -2.93 Bangkok 1462.73 1288.02 13.56 Manila 7523.82 6952.08 8.22 Jakarta 5196.412 4593.008 13.14 Kuala Lumpur 1655.26 1692.51 -2.20 Ho Chi Minh 657.37 579.03 13.53 (Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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