SE Asia Stocks-Retreat on profit-taking; Vietnam hits 8-yr high
By Shashwat Pradhan July 5 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks fell on Tuesday as investors booked profits after a broad-based rally that was driven by hopes central banks would intervene to offset a likely downturn triggered by Britain's decision to leave the European Union. Britain's vote to leave, termed Brexit, has ramped up the urgency for some Asian central banks to ease monetary policy, as a prolonged period of uncertainty might lead a wider downshift in trade and investment. "There is a slight profit-taking because at this level the indices are very expensive. For now, there are no catalysts to push the markets higher," said Grace Aller of AP Securities in Manila. Markets were also affected by a slide in oil prices after analysts predicted demand will weaken amid concerns about the global economic outlook. The Philippine index dipped marginally, snapping two days of gains, with financial stocks such as SM Prime Holdings Inc being the biggest drag on the index. The Philippines on Tuesday cut its economic growth targets for this year and next, citing weak farm output due to El Nino and external headwinds. Malaysia edged lower, dragged down by telecom stocks such as Maxis Bhd. Bucking the trend, Vietnam's benchmark index hit an 8-year high, extending gains into a seventh-straight session. The rally was aided by strong performance of financial stocks. A rise in coffee prices to a near 11-month high in the world's largest robusta producer also aided sentiment, prompting farmers to unload stocks, traders said. The Indonesian stock market will be closed from July 4 to July 8 for end-of-Ramadan celebrations. Asian shares fell, with the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.7 percent. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0455 GMT Market Current Prev close Pct Move Singapore 2868.09 2870.56 -0.09 Bangkok 1454.15 1454.56 -0.03 Manila 7816.86 7846.54 -0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1650.71 1654.84 -0.25 Ho Chi Minh 654.25 647.96 0.97 Change on year Market Current End-2015 Pct Move Singapore 2868.09 2882.73 -0.51 Bangkok 1454.15 1288.02 12.90 Manila 7816.86 6952.08 12.44 Kuala Lumpur 1650.71 1692.51 -2.47 Ho Chi Minh 654.25 579.03 12.99 (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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