August 22, 2016 / 4:51 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Fed rate hike bets weigh on sentiment

By Krishna V Kurup
    Aug 22 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stocks remained sluggish
on Monday, in line with broader Asian markets, on expectations
that a signal might emerge from a U.S. Federal Reserve gathering
this week in Wyoming that the central bank is gearing up to
raise interest rates.
    Global central bankers will join the annual mountain retreat
that opens on Thursday, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen due to speak
the following day.
    Sentiment also got hit after Fed Vice Chairman Stanley
Fischer on Sunday gave a generally upbeat assessment of the U.S.
economy's current strength, saying that the central bank was
close to hitting its job and inflation targets. 
    New York Fed President William Dudley said last week a rate
hike would be possible at the Fed's next policy meeting in
September, though interest rate futures contracts indicate that
market is pricing in about 50/50 odds of an increase in
    Markets are reacting to Fed official's comments "pointing to
a possible rate hike towards the end of the year" which "has
sparked apprehensions on the regional equities," said Manny
Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec Equities in Manila.
    Philippine shares rose marginally, helped by
financials and telecoms. SM Prime Holdings Inc rose
0.5 percent, while PLDT Inc gained nearly 1 percent.
    The Philippine market is moving sideways in the absence of
fresh developments, Cruz added.
    Thai shares edged up, with energy and industrial
stocks leading the gains. PTT Pcl rose 0.9 percent,
while Siam Cement Pcl gained 0.4 percent.
    Vietnam shares fell marginally, dragged down by
consumer non-cyclicals. Vietnam Dairy Products JSC was
down 1.4 percent. 
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 was down 0.7 percent at 0425 GMT after losing
0.3 percent last week. 

    For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                          
 Change at 0425 GMT                                      
  Market             Current       Prev close   Pct Move
  Singapore          2840.52       2844.02      -0.12
  Bangkok            1540.38       1538.76      0.11
  Manila             7941.48       7930.75      0.14
  Jakarta            5422.106      5416.035     0.11
  Kuala Lumpur       1688.71       1687.68      0.06
  Ho Chi Minh        661.85        662.28       -0.06
  Change on year                                
  Market             Current       End 2015     Pct Move
  Singapore          2840.52       2882.73      -1.46
  Bangkok            1540.38       1288.02      19.59
  Manila             7941.48       6952.08      14.23
  Jakarta            5422.106      4593.008     18.05
  Kuala Lumpur       1688.71       1692.51      -0.22
  Ho Chi Minh        661.85        579.03       14.30
 (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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