SE Asia Stocks-Soft as Brexit fears cloud sentiment
By Krishna V Kurup June 16 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks ended lower on Thursday as investors shrugged off the U.S. Fed's cautious stance on interest rates and a steady monetary policy by the Bank of Japan, as fears of a British exit from the European Union dominated markets. A poll by Ipsos MORI on Thursday showed 53 percent of Britons would vote to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23, and a separate analysis by JPMorgan researchers on Wednesday showed the "Leave" camp in the lead. "Most likely, if the British referendum were to go for 'leave' the European Union, it would exacerbate the market sentiments in flight to safety and the risk appetite would actually deteriorate," said Taye Shim, an analyst with Daewoo Securities. "It might lead to meaningful outflow of funds out from ASEAN markets over to safer markets." Concerns over the so-called Brexit have driven investors towards safe-haven assets such as German bunds and gold and out of oil and stocks. Singapore stocks fell 0.8 percent, led lower by oil and gas shares after oil prices hit their lowest in more than three weeks on Thursday. Keppel Corp Ltd fell 1.9 percent, while Sembcorp Industries lost 2.8 percent. The Thailand index closed down 1.7 percent, with telecom and energy stocks dragging the index down. Advanced Info Service PCL fell 4 percent. Vietnam ended marginally lower, led by energy stocks, with Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp down 2.4 percent. The Philippine index however closed 0.8 percent higher, led by shares of consumer cyclicals. SM Investments Corp was up 1.1 percent. "It might be a case of rotation of buying, probably lightening up on some countries and moving to the Philippines because of our better fundamentals at the moment," said Jose Vistan, an analyst with Manila-based AB Capital Securities, referring to the Philippine economy. The Philippine economy posted its fastest annual growth in nearly three years in the first quarter, as strong domestic demand and investments offset sluggish exports. Earlier on Thursday, the Bank of Japan refrained from offering additional monetary stimulus despite anaemic inflation and weak global growth. Overnight, the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged and signaled it still planned to raise rates twice in 2016. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2751.56 2774.25 -0.82 Bangkok 1411.19 1434.89 -1.65 Manila 7564.47 7501.65 0.84 Jakarta 4814.391 4814.824 -0.01 Kuala Lumpur 1614.9 1627.96 -0.80 Ho Chi Minh 625.11 627.02 -0.30 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2751.56 2882.73 -4.55 Bangkok 1411.19 1288.02 9.56 Manila 7564.47 6952.08 8.81 Jakarta 4814.391 4593.008 4.82 Kuala Lumpur 1614.9 1692.51 -4.59 Ho Chi Minh 625.11 579.03 7.96 (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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