SE Asia Stocks -All down; Indonesia leads, Thai banks retreat on rate uncertainty

lunes 9 de marzo de 2015 03:50 GYT

BANGKOK, March 9 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets
fell on Monday amid prospects of an earlier-than-expected rate
hike in the United States, with Indonesia retreating from a
record closing high hit in the previous session in line with a
depreciating rupiah.
    Asian stocks buckled while the dollar held firm after strong
U.S. jobs data fanned expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve
may raise interest rates sooner than previously thought.
    The Jakarta composite index dropped 1.3 percent
after Friday's 1.2 percent gain to a record closing high of
    The Indonesian rupiah hit a near 17-year trough as
emerging Asian currencies lost ground. 
    Broker Bahana Securities cut its rating on the stock market
to "neutral", citing the rupiah's depreciation. For every 1
percent rupiah depreciation against the dollar, the market's
earnings per share growth will fall by 0.8 percent, Bahana
Securities said.
    "This suggests that the recent JCI record highs are not
accompanied by market EPS growth. Against this backdrop, we
believe either the IDR would have to strengthen ahead or the
index would have to fall," the broker said in its report.
    Bangkok's SET index fell 0.6 percent, with investors
cashing in on recent gains in banking shares, such as
Krung Thai Bank and Kasikornbank, ahead of
the central bank's decision on interest rates on Wednesday.
    A rate cut could help limit losses in the market, brokers
    "Investors are eyeing the Thai MPC's decision on March 11.
Our economist expects the committee to cut interest rate by 25
basis points to 1.75 percent, a positive case for SET in our
view," broker KGI Securities said in a report.
    Sixteen of 21 economists in a Reuters poll predict the
one-day repurchase rate will be left at 2.0
percent, while the other five expect a 25 basis point cut.
    The Philippine main index eased 0.7 percent after a
0.5 percent gain to a record closing high of 7,861.33 in the
previous session.
    Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index and
Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Composite Index both hit their
lowest since Jan. 22. Vietnam extended losses for a third
session, hitting its lowest since March 3. 
    U.S. employers stepped up hiring in February and the jobless
rate fell to its lowest level since the spring before President
Barack Obama took office, which could put pressure on the
Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in June. 
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 Change at 0707 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3401.64       3417.51       -0.46
 Kuala Lumpur       1791.16       1806.96       -0.87
 Bangkok            1558.69       1568.29       -0.61
 Jakarta            5442.16       5514.78       -1.31
 Manila             7804.62       7861.33       -0.72
 Ho Chi Minh         589.92        593.97       -0.68
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)