August 17, 2016 / 5:21 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Risk appetite eases after Fed rate talks

By Anusha Ravindranath
    Aug 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets traded
slightly lower to flat on Wednesday, as risk appetite eased
after comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials fuelled
speculations of a rate hike this year.
    New York Fed Reserve Bank President William Dudley said a
rate hike in September was possible, while Atlanta Fed President
Dennis Lockhart said the U.S. economy is likely strong enough
for at least one rate increase before the end of 2016, with two
a possibility. 
    Comments from Dudley, a permanent voter on policy and a
close ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen, also included an unusual
warning on low bond yields and were seen as more hawkish than a
cautious message last month.
    Yet, investors were sceptical about the Fed's willingness to
tighten policy as it had ended up keeping rates on hold earlier
in June, even after their officials talked up the possibility of
rate hikes in preceding weeks.
    Investors seem to be in a wait-and-watch mode right now,
said Charles Ang of COL Financial in the Philippines. 
    "People are also in a way concerned about how potential rate
hikes could affect the global liquidity given some of the
uncertainties that we still have, particularly in Europe and
China," he said.
    For regional markets such as the Philippines valuation seems
to be on the higher side, he said, adding stocks were no longer
    Broader sentiment also took a hit as oil prices pulled away
from 5-week highs in early trade on Wednesday, as analysts
doubted possible producer talks to restrain oversupply would be
    Singapore shares hit a more than one-week low and
were headed for their fifth straight session of losses, with
Keppel Corp and Singapore Telecommunications 
among the top percentage losers.
    Philippine shares fell marginally, weighed down by
energy stocks, while Malaysia drifted lower as bluechips
such as British American Tobacco Malaysia Bhd shed
    Bucking the trend, Vietnam shares edged up.    
Indonesian markets were closed for a public holiday.
For Asian Companies click;  

 STOCK MARKETS                                         
 Change on 0449                                        
  Market           Current       previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        2851.5        2858.8       -0.26
  Bangkok          1537.3        1537.52      -0.01
  Manila           7973.25       7983.38      -0.13
 Kuala Lumpur      1694.63       1699.89      -0.31
 Ho Chi Minh       658.88        658.11       0.12
 Change so far                                
 this year                                    
  Market           Current       End prev yr  Pct Move
  Singapore        2851.5        2882.73      -1.08
  Bangkok          1537.3        1288.02      19.35
  Manila           7973.25       6952.08      14.69
 Kuala Lumpur      1694.63       1692.51      0.13
 Ho Chi Minh       658.88        579.03       13.79

 (Reporting by  Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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