SE Asia Stocks-Fall on rate hike concerns ahead of U.S. Fed meet next week
BANGKOK, March 13 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Friday as investors turned cautious ahead of a likely decision on U.S. interest rates at the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week, with the Thai benchmark snapping a two-day gain after a bout of late selling. The Thai SET index closed down 0.2 percent at 1,541.55 on Friday, posting its fourth straight weekly loss and the worst among regional peers. The index was down 1.7 percent on the week. Others ended the week lower as investors stayed on the defensive although an unexpected fall in U.S. retail sales in February helped temper prospects of an interest rate hike. Indonesia dropped 1.6 percent on the week after five straight weeks of gains, with concerns over a falling rupiah denting market sentiment. A Reuters poll showed Indonesia's central bank is expected to hold its key policy rate steady on Tuesday in the wake of the rupiah's slide to its lowest level against the dollar in nearly 17 years. Singapore posted a weekly decline of 1.6 percent. Malaysia was down 1.4 percent on the week, followed by Vietnam's 1.3 percent fall and the Philippines' 0.7 percent loss. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3362.77 3373.60 -0.32 Kuala Lumpur 1781.75 1786.87 -0.29 Bangkok 1541.55 1544.34 -0.18 Jakarta 5426.77 5439.83 -0.25 Manila 7809.54 7839.82 -0.39 Ho Chi Minh 586.10 588.53 -0.41 Change on year Market Current End 2014 Pct Move Singapore 3362.77 3365.15 -0.07 Kuala Lumpur 1781.75 1761.25 +1.16 Bangkok 1541.55 1497.67 +2.93 Jakarta 5426.77 5226.95 +3.82 Manila 7809.54 7230.57 +8.01 Ho Chi Minh 586.10 545.63 +7.42 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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