August 30, 2016 / 5:51 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Sluggish as investors continue to digest Fed comments

By Geo  Tharappel
    Aug 30 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were flat
to lower in lacklustre trading on Tuesday, with the Philippines
leading the losses, as investors continued to digest U.S.
Federal Reserve officials' hawkish comments.
    Investors are less sure when the U.S. policy might change
after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday the case for a rate
hike was strengthening, but provided little detail on when it
would next move. 
    While the initial market reaction was to push up the
probability of a September hike to 44 percent, investors quickly
had second thoughts and by Tuesday the implied chance was back
at 36 percent <0#FF:>.
    Traders also expect the August payrolls report due on Friday
to miss expectations, making it much harder for policymakers to
contemplate a September tightening. 
    Asian shares outside Japan gained 0.55
percent, recovering around half of Monday's loss.
    Philippine shares fell as much as 1.6 percent in
their worst intraday performance since Aug. 3 and were headed
for their fifth session of losses. 
    With most of the catalysts like earnings and GDP numbers
already out and the absence of any market-stealing development,
stocks are in a correction phase, said Manny Cruz, an analyst
with Asiasec Equities Inc in Manila.
    Consumer cyclicals were the biggest losers, with SM
Investments Corp shedding 2.54 percent.
    Indonesian shares fell for a third straight session,
led by utilities including Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) Tbk
    "Tracking the overnight US market strength, we expect JCI to
demonstrate a modest rebound," said Taye Shim, an analyst with
Daewoo Securities Indonesia.
    Annual inflation rate in August likely dropped to its lowest
level since December 2009, a Reuters poll showed. 
    Thai shares eked out marginal gains, shrugging off
disappointing July manufacturing output data. 
For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                              
  Change at 0443 GMT                                         
  Market              Current       Previous close  Pct Move
  Singapore           2830.34       2829.43         0.03
  Bangkok             1548.72       1544.15         0.30
  Manila              7725          7845.49         -1.54
  Jakarta             5346.69       5370.764        -0.45
  Kuala Lumpur        1683.03       1681.6          0.09
  Ho Chi Minh         670.12        669.44          0.10
  Change on year                                    
  Market              Current       End 2015        Pct Move
  Singapore           2830.34       2882.73         -1.82
  Bangkok             1548.72       1288.02         20.24
  Manila              7725          6952.08         11.12
  Jakarta             5346.69       4593.008        16.41
  Kuala Lumpur        1683.03       1692.51         -0.56
  Ho Chi Minh         670.12        579.03          15.73

 (Reporting by Geo Tharappel; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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