SE Asia Stocks-Flat to lower as investors booked profits
By Suhail Hassan Bhat Sept 23 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were flat to lower on Friday, as investors booked profits on recent gainers after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and the Bank of Japan overhauled its monetary policy earlier this week. Thai shares fell about 1 percent, underperforming other markets in the region, and were headed for their second session of declines in nine in thin trading. Bank, energy and property stocks led the losses. Siam Commercial Bank Pcl fell 1.3 percent, while oil conglomerate PTT Pcl dropped 0.59 percent. Markets in Southeast Asia are experiencing a technical correction given that it is a Friday, said Mikey Macainag, an analyst with Manila-based Sunsecurities Inc, adding that investors were also factoring in the U.S. presidential elections. Indonesian shares were down after two consecutive sessions of gains, hurt by financial and consumer discretionary stocks. Automotive conglomerate PT Astra International fell 1.71 percent, while PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk declined nearly 1 percent. Since the rate cut by the Bank Indonesia has already been factored in over the last couple of days, there could be some profit-taking in stocks that have rallied this week, PT Trimegah Sekuritas Indonesia said in a note. The central bank on Thursday escalated its efforts to spur lending by cutting its benchmark interest rate for the fifth time this year. Philippine shares were on track to snap four consecutive days of gains with industrials and financials leading the decline. JG Summit Holdings dropped as much as 3.8 percent. The country's central bank kept its policy interest rates unchanged on Thursday as expected, and lowered its inflation forecast slightly for the year. Singapore shares were marginally down, heading for their third straight session of falls, ahead of August inflation data scheduled later in the day. Vietnam and Malaysia markets were almost flat. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0355 GMT Market Current Previous Close Pct Move Singapore 2844.17 2846.06 -0.07 Bangkok 1491.66 1505.99 -0.95 Manila 7709.44 7762.35 -0.68 Jakarta 5374.716 5380.262 -0.10 Kuala Lumpur 1669.09 1669.66 -0.03 Ho Chi Minh 671.05 671.38 -0.05 Change this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2844.17 2882.73 -1.34 Bangkok 1491.66 1288.02 15.81 Manila 7709.44 6952.08 10.89 Jakarta 5374.716 4593.008 17.02 Kuala Lumpur 1669.09 1692.51 -1.38 Ho Chi Minh 671.05 579.03 15.89 (Reporting by Suhail Hassan Bhat; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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