SE Asia Stocks-Retreat on profit-taking; Vietnam hits 8-yr high
By Shashwat Pradhan July 5 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks ended lower on Tuesday as investors booked profits after a broad-based rally over the past few sessions 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 has ramped up the urgency for some Asian central banks to ease monetary policy, as a prolonged period of uncertainty might lead to a wider downshift in trade and investment. "There is 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. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8 percent. 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 eased half a percent, snapping two days of gains, with financial stocks such as SM Prime Holdings Inc among the biggest losers. The Philippines on Tuesday cut its economic growth targets for this year and the next, citing weak farm output due to El Nino and external headwinds. Singapore closed lower, snapping five straight sessions of gains, with financial stocks contributing to half the losses. Activity at Singapore factories worsened slightly in June, shrinking for a 12th straight month on falling new orders and exports, a survey showed on Monday, as weak global demand continues to hurt the trade-dependent economy. Bucking the trend, Vietnam ended at a more-than-8-year high, aided by financial stocks such as Vietcombank which hit its highest intraday level since July 2015. Vietnam recorded a seventh straight session of gains in what is the longest streak of daily gains since March 2014. The Indonesian stock market is closed for Ramadan celebrations this week. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change on day Market Current Prev Close Pct Move Singapore 2864.67 2870.56 -0.21 Bangkok 1450.07 1454.56 -0.31 Manila 7808.13 7846.54 -0.49 Kuala Lumpur 1650.71 1654.84 -0.25 Ho Chi Minh 650.88 647.96 0.45 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2864.67 2882.73 -0.63 Bangkok 1450.07 1288.02 12.58 Manila 7808.13 6952.08 12.31 Kuala Lumpur 1650.71 1692.51 -2.47 Ho Chi Minh 650.88 579.03 12.41 (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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