March 8, 2017 / 5:20 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Largely down as investors book profit on Fed rate hike hopes

    By Aparajita Saxena
    March 8 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
slipped on Wednesday as caution set in ahead of the U.S. Federal
Reserve's meeting next week where it is widely expected to raise
interest rates.
    Investors are awaiting clues on the U.S. economy,
culminating with the government's payrolls report for February,
which is due on Friday, to determine whether a rate hike at the
upcoming meeting is a done deal.
    "Investors are booking profits across the market in
anticipation of a rate hike. We're seeing some sourness in
sentiment from Wall Street's losses last night as well," said
Theodore Tan, an analyst with AP Securities.
    U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday as weakness in drug and
financial shares sent the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones
Industrial Average to their first consecutive sessions of
declines in more than a month.
    "Asian shares have risen for the past six weeks, so some
amount of profit-taking is normal," he added.
    Bucking the trend, Philippine shares were headed for
a fourth session of gains in five in thin trading.
    "We're still waiting for some earnings results. Apart from
that, there isn't much going on today since everyone is tuned in
to DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
secretary Regina Lopez's presentation on whether or not she can
continue on as the secretary given the implications in the
mining industry," Tan said, referring to a legislative hearing
scheduled to confirm her appointment as the environment minister
who ordered more than half of the country's mines shut.

    Telecom stocks led the gains, with PLDT Inc rising
as much as 5.3 percent after it said recurring income would
likely grow in 2017 for the first time in three years, while
Globe Telecom climbed 3.37 percent.
   Thai shares fell as much as 0.8 percent to a
two-month low and were headed for a fourth straight session of
declines, hurt by financials.
    Group Lease fell as much as 27.6 percent in heavy
selling, and was the biggest drag on the index.
    Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam
slipped, while Singapore rose with financials leading the
gains. The three big Singapore banks rose between 0.5 percent
and 0.6 percent, while exchange operator Singapore Exchange
 climbed 1 percent.
    For Asian Companies click;  

  Market             Current      Previous Close  Pct Move
  Singapore          3138.11      3130.44         0.25
  Bangkok            1544.01      1549.87         -0.38
  Manila             7314.07      7294.52         0.27
  Jakarta            5400.155     5402.615        -0.05
  Kuala Lumpur       1727.01      1728.66         -0.10
  Ho Chi Minh        714.97       716.54          -0.22
  Change this year                                
  Market             Current      End 2016        Pct Move
  Singapore          3138.11      2880.76         8.93
  Bangkok            1544.01      1542.94         0.07
  Manila             7314.07      6840.64         6.92
  Jakarta            5400.155     5296.711        1.95
  Kuala Lumpur       1727.01      1641.73         5.19
  Ho Chi Minh        714.97       664.87          7.53
 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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