SE Asia Stocks-Cautious ahead of Brexit vote
By Anusha Ravindranath June 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets saw cautious trade on Wednesday, a day ahead of a referendum that would decide Britain's fate in the European Union. Philippine stocks snapped five sessions of gains, led by mining stocks. Latest opinion polls have mostly shown a shift towards keeping Britain in the EU, while there are signs that momentum has stalled for the 'In' camp and the vote still looks too close to call. Philippine shares ended lower as mining stocks lost ground after incoming President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Tuesday that he would cancel mining projects that cause environmental harm. Semirara Mining Corp was the top percentage loser on the index. Mining shares fell because of the strong message from the incoming administration on responsible mining, said Jose Vistan an analyst with AB Capital Securities in the Philippines. "The new administration is going to demand high standards in terms of operations," he added. However, investors drew some comfort from U.S. Fed Chair Janet Yellen comments on future rate hikes. Yellen said on Tuesday that the Fed would be cautious on interest rates hikes until it is clear the job market is holding up, and also warned that a British exit from the EU could darken the U.S. economic outlook. "It is almost like a Goldilocks scenario," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist with Singapore-based Mizuho Bank. "Asian markets take it that the rate hikes won't come in a way that is going to be damaging for the broader economy or the broader investor sentiment." Singapore shares hit a near two-week high before ending in negative terrain, with Thai Beverage PCL and CapitaLand Ltd leading the losses. Thai markets ended lower after its central bank left interest rates unchanged.. Malaysian markets were closed for a holiday. For Asian companies click SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2786.13 2789.45 -0.12 Bangkok 1424.68 1430.8 -0.43 Manila 7756.37 7767.23 -0.14 Jakarta 4896.852 4878.714 0.37 Ho Chi Minh 626.41 628 -0.25 Change so far this year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2786.13 2882.73 -3.35 Bangkok 1424.68 1288.02 10.61 Manila 7756.37 6952.08 11.57 Jakarta 4896.852 4593.008 6.62 Kuala Lumpur 1637.69 1692.51 -3.24 Ho Chi Minh 626.41 579.03 8.18 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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