SE Asia Stocks-Cautious ahead of Brexit vote; Singapore up
By Shashwat Pradhan June 23 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets stayed cautious on Thursday, with investors focussing on Britain's referendum on whether it would remain part of the European Union. Two opinion polls published late on Wednesday, a few hours before voters were due to begin casting their votes, showed the "Remain" camp nudging ahead in the closely divided campaign, but trading activity in Asian markets remained erratic, thin and cautious. In the light of the impending Brexit vote, risk sentiment is dragging Southeast Asian markets slightly lower, said Grace Aller of AP Securities in Manila. Meanwhile, Singapore Exchange Ltd said it has raised the amount of cash firms must pledge to cover trading positions due to an expected rise in market volatility linked to Britain's vote on whether to exit the EU. Market volatility has already spiked in the run up to the referendum, with the CBOE Volatility index surging this month and up 14 percent on Wednesday alone as polls showed the outcome was too close to call. Singapore shares were up 0.6 percent as of 0445 GMT, with financial stocks such as Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd leading the gains. Philippine shares extended losses into a second straight session, dragged down by financial stocks. "Investors are just profit-taking at the moment," said Aller. Vietnam shares were higher, heading for their third session of gains in four, on expectations of upbeat corporate earnings, traders and analysts said. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2801.68 2786.13 0.56 Bangkok 1421.26 1424.68 -0.24 Manila 7724.37 7756.37 -0.41 Jakarta 4881.617 4896.852 -0.31 Kuala Lumpur 1637.03 1637.69 -0.04 Ho Chi Minh 629.33 626.41 0.50 Change so far this year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2801.68 2882.73 -2.81 Bangkok 1421.26 1288.02 10.34 Manila 7724.37 6952.08 11.11 Jakarta 4881.617 4593.008 6.28 Kuala Lumpur 1637.03 1692.51 -3.28 Ho Chi Minh 629.33 579.03 8.69 (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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