SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia leads fall; Thai banks rebound before rate decision
BANGKOK, April 29 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets extended losses on Wednesday, with Indonesian large caps underperforming, as the Federal Open Market Committee wraps up its two-day meeting later in the day. However, Thai banks regained early lost ground before an interest rate decision. Thailand's central bank is expected to leave its policy interest rate steady at 1.75 percent after a surprise cut last month, despite calls to weaken the baht and bolster the fragile economy. "In the past two days, we think foreigners just reshuffled their portfolios, awaiting today's MPC meeting, reflecting through a continuous decline in Thai bond yields and the weakening of the baht vs the dollar," strategists at broker Maybank Kim Eng Securities wrote in note to clients. Shares of Kasikornbank were up 0.5 percent after sliding at one point to the lowest since Jan. 6. Krung Thai Bank shares climbed 1.5 percent, rebounding from a near 11-month closing low hit in the previous session. The Jakarta composite index dropped 2.5 percent as foreign investors-led selling sent PT Jasa Marga Tbk 6.4 percent lower and PT United Tractors Tbk down 5.2 percent, both top losers on MSCI's index of Southeast Asia . Banks also fell, with PT Bank Central Asia Tbk, the country's largest company by market cap, down 3.7 percent before its earnings announcement scheduled after market hours. "Indonesia's growth potential is slowing down and it was reflected by the poor first-quarter corporate earnings," said Norico Gaman, head of research, BNI Securities. Indonesia will report its first-quarter GDP data next week. Indexes in Singapore and the Philippines both headed for a second straight fall. Malaysia's index hovered near its lowest since April 23 and the Thai key index hit a four-week low. Asian share markets faded from seven-year peaks, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan easing 0.6 percent. Investors awaited the outcome of the FOMC meeting that ends on Wednesday, hoping for clues on when the central bank will hike interest rates. Vietnam remained closed through Friday for national holidays. For Asian Companies click; For South East Asia Hot Stock reports, click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0450 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 3491.06 3495.09 -0.12 Kuala Lumpur 1847.43 1855.06 -0.41 Bangkok 1523.81 1531.53 -0.50 Jakarta 5112.33 5242.16 -2.48 Manila 7802.77 7886.57 -1.06 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy in Jakarta; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
© Thomson Reuters 2017 All rights reserved.