SE Asia Stocks - Retreat; Philippines off record high before holiday
BANGKOK, April 8 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday as overbought Philippine stocks snapped several days of gains ahead of a public holiday and investors cashed in recent gains in the region ahead of the quarterly reporting season. The Philippine index eased 0.8 percent after having hit record closing highs in each of the previous seven sessions. Shares of Globe Telecom, the most actively traded, dropped 2 percent after Tuesday's rally to a record high. The selling took the index off overbought territory, with the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) at 67 from Tuesday's close of 75.8. A level above 70 indicates an overbought condition. The market will be closed on Thursday for a public holiday, and will reopen on Friday. Stocks in Malaysia and Indonesia reversed from recent rallies while Singapore retreated ahead of companies' quarterly earnings in coming weeks. Investors had mopped up shares in the region on expectations the Federal Reserve would hold off its interest rate hike after weak U.S. jobs data. The Fed will release minutes from its March 17-18 monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, which should shed light on its internal debate over the rate hike plans. In Bangkok, brokers advised investors to cut risk ahead of the long Songkran holiday next week. Coal miner Banpu slipped 1.6 percent after seven sessions of gains while bank shares were up 0.4 percent ahead of Jan-March results. "We believe their performance will grow both QoQ and YoY but at an unexciting pace. Prices of banking counters have been correcting since the beginning of this year and have largely priced in lacklustre earnings prospects," strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities wrote in a report. In Asia, Japanese shares were probing 15-year peaks on Wednesday as investors favoured Asian assets on expectations of more stimulus from countries such as China and Japan, as well as a delayed start to any tightening by the Federal Reserve. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0610 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3457.24 3465.62 -0.24 Kuala Lumpur 1849.60 1856.51 -0.37 Bangkok 1550.65 1549.53 +0.07 Jakarta 5497.85 5523.29 -0.46 Manila 8037.62 8098.68 -0.75 Ho Chi Minh 547.59 548.11 -0.09 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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