SE Asia Stocks -Most weaker; Philippine shares off all time highs
BANGKOK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The Philippine index retreated on Thursday as investors sold in an overbought market after a rally driven by upbeat economic data, while most others stock markets in the region pulled lower with Asia spooked by the U.S. Federal Reserve's signal of a possible rate hike. Asian shares extended losses on Thursday after the Fed took an upbeat view on the U.S. economy and signalled that it remains firmly on track to raise interest rates this year despite an uncertain global outlook. The Philippine composite index edged down 0.17 percent. It earlier hit an intraday all-time high of 7,736.97 which briefly sent the index's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) above 70, an overbought level. The Philippine economy grew an annual 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter, boosted by strength in the industrial sector, rounding out 2014 as the fastest-growing economy in Asia. Malaysia's index eased 0.7 percent to 1,782.51, heading for a second straight day of loss. Energy stocks were among those actively traded amid low oil prices, with Sapurakencana Petroleum down 0.7 percent and Tenaga Nasional off 1.5 percent. Maybank IB Research said in a report it maintained an end-year 2015 target for the index at 1,830 and that its strategy on the market was still defensive. Its recent roadshow reflected bearish sentiment among institutional investors. "Our take is that most of the funds we met have reasonably reduced their exposure to Malaysian equities since the roil on crude oil price began ... This is to be expected since investors generally do not like uncertainties," the report said. Bucking the trend, Singapore shares eked out slim gains as investors still digested the Singapore central bank's unexpected easing of its monetary policy on Wednesday to slow the appreciation of the Singapore dollar. "Particularly for foreign investors, this is a double whammy coming after the fall in equity and asset prices, and may lead to a reassessment of portfolios," said broker NRA Capital in a report. Large caps were mixed, with shares of DBS Group Holdings down 0.2 percent and Keppel Corp up 1.3 percent. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0637 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3422.88 3419.15 +0.11 Kuala Lumpur 1782.51 1795.88 -0.74 Bangkok 1591.56 1592.81 -0.08 Jakarta 5265.18 5268.85 -0.07 Manila 7647.90 7661.18 -0.17 Ho Chi Minh 583.02 583.76 -0.13 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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