March 9, 2017 / 5:34 AM / in a year

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore down; markets cautious ahead of Fed meet

    March 9 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks dropped nearly 1
percent on Thursday led by financial stocks while other markets
in the region were tepid with investors cautious ahead of the
U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week.
    The Singapore index fell as much as 0.84 percent
during the day with DBS Group, the city-state's
largest bank by market capitalisation, posting its worst
percentage drop in over three weeks.
    Trading volumes were low, as investors remained wary of a
possible rate hike at the upcoming Fed meeting.
    "The ADP (employment) numbers from U.S. yesterday were very
strong," said Liu Jinshu, director of research at NRA
Securities. "There are fears that not only will the Fed hike
interest rates in March, but they may even hike the trajectory
of rates."
    U.S. private sector job growth recorded its biggest increase
in more than a year in February amid a surge in construction and
factory hiring.
    "Basically, people are concerned that the Fed may be more
hawkish than previously expected," added Jinshu.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 slipped 0.87 percent as at 0517 GMT. 
    The Thailand index fell nearly half a percent, with
energy stocks losing ground. Oil and gas supplier PTT PCL
 fell as much as 1.5 percent, while refiner Thai Oil PCL
 shed as much as 1.3 percent.
    The Philippine index rose marginally. Industrials
were the biggest gainers, with SM Investments Corp
rising as much as 1.22 percent while telecommunications provider
PLDT Inc hit a near 2-month high.
    Indonesia was flat, with the index of the 45 most
liquid stocks reflecting the subdued sentiment in the
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        3123.04       3145.29      -0.71
  Bangkok          1546.77       1551.73      -0.32
  Manila           7309.65       7294.56      0.21
  Jakarta          5395.701      5393.764     0.04
  Kuala Lumpur     1722.66       1725.54      -0.17
  Ho Chi Minh      717.59        716.6        0.14
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current       End 2016     Pct Move
  Singapore        3123.04       2880.76      8.07
  Bangkok          1546.77       1542.94      0.25
  Manila           7309.65       6840.64      6.63
  Jakarta          5395.701      5296.711     1.85
  Kuala Lumpur     1722.66       1641.73      4.81
  Ho Chi Minh      717.59        664.87       7.63

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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