August 26, 2016 / 10:12 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Wary before Fed Chair Yellen's speech; Vietnam up

By Krishna V Kurup
    Aug 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets trod
cautiously on Friday as investors waited for signals on the
future trajectory of U.S. interest rates from Federal Reserve
Chair Janet Yellen in her speech later in the day.
    Recent strong readings on the U.S. labor market, and signs
that inflation was finally beginning to pick up, are encouraging
some policymakers to believe that rates should be raised, if not
as soon as September's policy meeting then at least before the
end of the year. 
    Traders currently put chances of a December rate hike at
about 42 percent.
    Several policymakers have said raising interest rates
gradually would allow them to stimulate the economy for longer,
but that an overheating economy could end in a recession.
    Singapore shares fell 0.7 percent, snapping three
sessions of gains, with telecoms such as StarHub Ltd 
dragging the index down. For the week, they posted a gain of 0.5
    Singapore's industrial production in July shrank from a year
earlier, with manufacturing output falling 3.6 percent, data
from the Singapore Economic Development Board showed. The median
forecast in a Reuters survey was a rise of 0.9 percent.
    Philippine shares closed marginally lower, posting
their fourth straight session of losses, led by telecoms
including Globe Telecom Inc. They declined 1.1 percent
this week, their third straight weekly loss.
    Investors took a cautious stance ahead of Yellen's speech,
looking for indications of a rate hike, SB Equities said in a
note, adding that "trading participants have increased chatter
on a potential surprise in tonight's speech." 
    Vietnam shares ended 1.4 percent higher with index
heavyweight Vietcombank gaining 6.5 percent after the
company said it would pay a 10 percent cash dividend and 35
percent share dividend to shareholders. 
    They added 0.8 percent for the week, their third straight
weekly gain.      
    For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                        
  Change on day                                        
  Market           Current       Prev close   Pct Move
  Singapore        2857.65       2876.93      -0.67
  Bangkok          1549.41       1544.1       0.34
  Manila           7845.49       7854.54      -0.12
  Jakarta          5438.831      5454.116     -0.28
  Kuala Lumpur     1683.09       1680.3       0.17
  Ho Chi Minh      667.75        658.5        1.40
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current       End 2015     Pct Move
  Singapore        2857.65       2882.73      -0.87
  Bangkok          1549.41       1288.02      20.29
  Manila           7845.49       6952.08      12.85
  Jakarta          5438.831      4593.008     18.42
  Kuala Lumpur     1683.09       1692.51      -0.56
  Ho Chi Minh      667.75        579.03       15.32

 (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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