SE Asia Stocks -Mixed amid Fed rate uncertainty; Malaysia banks fall ahead of rate decision
BANGKOK, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were mixed on Friday as a rally in overnight oil prices lifted energy shares, but selling in banking stocks sent the Malaysian index lower ahead of a rate decision by the central bank. The Kuala Lumpur composite index was down 0.5 percent after three sessions of gains and set to end the week about 1 percent higher. Top percentage losers were CIMB Group Holdings and RHB Capital, which fell 2.2 and 2.4 percent, respectively. The central bank is expected to unveil its interest rate decision around 1000 GMT after market hours, with all 13 economists in a Reuters poll expecting it to hold the benchmark rate steady at 3.25 percent. The Thai SET index advanced as much as 0.5 percent to a near four-week high and was on track for its third straight weekly gain amid buying interest from local mutual funds. Thai stocks are likely to stay range-bound as investors pared equity holdings ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting, strategists at broker Phillip Securities said in a report. "Though an upside surprise from the Federal Reserve's decision to hold off interest rate hike looks more likely than a downside surprise but the room for further upside is however still limited," Phillip Securities said in the report. Share markets have a mixed performance on the week amid uncertainty over a Fed rate decision. Vietnam was on course for a 2.8 percent gain, while Indonesia and the Philippines headed for a weekly loss. Singapore, which was closed on Friday for a polling day, posted a weekly gain of 0.9 percent after seven straight weeks of falls. Energy shares were outperformers across exchanges, led by a 6.6 percent surge in Indonesia's Perusahaan Gas Negara . Philippine Manila Electric rose 0.9 percent and Thai Oil increased 2.9 percent. Asian shares rose following gains on Wall Street, while the dollar firmed after facing pressure from a rise in the yuan, but gains were capped by uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change at 0422 GMT Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Kuala Lumpur 1605.81 1614.02 -0.51 Bangkok 1400.78 1396.16 +0.33 Jakarta 4377.88 4343.26 +0.80 Manila 6912.23 6893.54 +0.27 Ho Chi Minh 572.63 572.07 +0.10 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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