SE Asia Stocks-Sluggish after Yellen comments
Oct 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were sluggish on Monday, in line with broader Asia as investors digested comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Yellen said on Friday the Fed may need to run a "high-pressure" economy in order to reverse damage from the global financial crisis that depressed output. Her remarks, however, did not address immediate policy concerns directly and didn't change prevailing views that the Fed is likely to raise interest rates in December. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.4 percent. Thai stocks were marginally higher after losing as much as 1 percent in early trade. The index declined 1.8 percent last week on concerns about King Bhumibol Adulyadej's health. The king passed away on Thursday. Foreigners were net sellers in the previous four sessions. They also cut their holdings in Thai bonds during the period and became net buyers as of early Monday, according to data from the Thai Bond Market Association. Financials and industrials fell the most, with Kasikornbank Pcl losing 4.8 percent on weaker loan growth target for 2017. Singapore shares fell as much as 0.8 percent in early trade after data showed September exports declined less than expected, though a grim outlook for the economy prevailed. Losses were driven by financials and industrials, the biggest sectors on the main index. Realtors CapitaLand Commercial Trust and UOL Ltd were among the biggest losers. Philippine stocks rose 0.3 percent, heading for a second consecutive session of gains, with telecoms and industrials providing support. Globe Telecom and Ayala Corp were among the biggest gainers, rising 2.4 percent and 1.8 percent respectively. Malaysian and Vietnamese shares posted minor losses, while Indonesian shares recorded paltry gains as investors shrugged off trade data that showed exports and imports contracted on a yearly basis in September against expectations for import growth. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0451 GMT Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2812.48 2815.24 -0.10 Bangkok 1478.94 1477.61 0.09 Manila 7413.62 7389.3 0.33 Jakarta 5420.55 5399.885 0.38 Kuala Lumpur 1657.8 1658.97 -0.07 Ho Chi Minh 685.02 687 -0.29 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2812.48 2882.73 -2.44 Bangkok 1478.94 1288.02 14.82 Manila 7413.62 6952.08 6.64 Jakarta 5420.55 4593.008 18.02 Kuala Lumpur 1657.8 1692.51 -2.05 Ho Chi Minh 685.02 579.03 18.30 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Jong Woo Cheon in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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