SE Asia Stocks-Flat to lower ahead of U.S. economic data

martes 31 de mayo de 2016 06:22 GYT

By Aparajita Saxena
    May 31 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks closed flat to
lower on Tuesday as investors waited for cues from U.S.
inflation and employment data due this week, the two most
important indicators for a "data-dependent" U.S. Federal
    Investors will also be keeping a keen eye out for Fed Chair
Janet Yellen's speech in Philadelphia on Monday for clarity over
whether rates would be increased as early as June. On Friday,
Yellen said if current economic conditions held, a rate hike
over the next few months would be "appropriate."
    While Fed policymakers will be looking at inflation and jobs
data as they decide whether to raise key interest rates as soon
as June, traders will read through them to try and get ahead of
the Fed decision. 
    "The underlying message from a Fed rate hike is that global
economies are recovering, and that sits well with investors. We
expect markets to move sideways until then," said Grace Aller,
an analyst with Manila-based AP Securities.
    "We're not expecting markets to react badly to the interest
rate hike, the way they did last year. Investors are comfortable
and are getting a clearer picture of the trajectory of a Fed
rate hike, so there will be less surprises in the markets this
time, and less sudden movements."
    Singapore's Straits Times Index closed marginally
lower on the day, its second session of losses. It lost 1.67
percent this month, its second straight monthly decline.
    Vietnam shares rose for a third straight session, led
by energy stocks. It gained 3.4 percent in May, its fourth
consecutive monthly jump.
    Indonesia snapped four sessions of gains and closed
0.81 percent lower, dragged down by technology stocks. For the
month, it declined 0.86 percent, its second straight monthly
     "Investors in Indonesia are concerned about the economic
conditions - they're trying to find evidences of growth, which
are not actually there," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo
Securities Indonesia.
    Malaysia extended losses into a second straight day
and finished 0.24 percent lower. It declined 2.79 percent for
the month. 
    Philippines surrendered early gains and closed down
0.84 percent. It posted a gain of 3.4 percent for the month.
    Thailand closed little changed on the day, shrugging
off data that showed the country's industrial output rose for a
second straight month in April. The index gained 1.40 percent
for the month, its fourth monthly gain in five. 
     For Asian Companies click;  
  STOCK MARKETS                                           
  Change on day                                           
  Market           Current       Previous close  Pct Move
  Singapore        2791.06       2796.75         -0.20
  Bangkok          1424.28       1424.12         0.01
  Manila           7401.6        7464.34         -0.84
  Jakarta          4796.869      4836.033        -0.81
  Kuala Lumpur     1626          1629.87         -0.24
  Ho Chi Minh      618.44        614.5           0.64
  Change on year                                 
  Market           Current       End 2015        Pct Move
  Singapore        2791.06       2882.73         -3.18
  Bangkok          1424.28       1288.02         10.58
  Manila           7401.6        6952.08         6.47
  Jakarta          4796.869      4593.008        4.44
  Kuala Lumpur     1626          1692.51         -3.93
  Ho Chi Minh      618.44        579.03          6.81

 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and
Subhranshu Sahu)