June 10, 2016 / 10:07 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Jittery ahead of Fed meeting, Brexit referendum

By Rushil Dutta
    June 10 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets closed
lower on Friday ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next
week that is likely to take a call on an interest rate increase,
and the UK referendum later this month on Britain's exit from
the European Union. 
    The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to sustained strength in
the labour market despite a sharp slowdown in hiring last month.
    The health of the labour market will likely determine the
timing of the next Federal Reserve interest rate increase.
    Fed watchers surveyed by Reuters this week saw a median 40
percent chance of a hike in July and a roughly two-in-three
chance of a September move. 
    Britons will vote on June 23 on whether to remain part of
the EU, a choice with far-reaching consequences for politics,
the economy, defence and diplomacy but divergent polls have made
it difficult to predict the outcome. 
    "The markets are on tenterhooks ahead of next week's FOMC
meeting. Rates may go up in July or September and markets do not
like such uncertainty," said an analyst from Singapore.
    "We also think Britain wouldn't want to exit the EU, but if
it swings otherwise, the effects could be detrimental." 
    Lower oil prices also dampened sentiment. 
    The Singapore index led the losers, dragged down by
oil and gas, and consumer services stocks, but managed to gain
0.5 percent on the week.
    The oil index lost 2 percent as a stronger
dollar pulled crude off the 2016 highs hit this week. 
    Oil-rig firms Sembcorp Industries and Keppel Corp
 closed 2.4 percent and 2.1 percent lower,
    Indondesian stocks lost 0.6 percent, dragged down by
energy and consumer cyclicals.
    It fell marginally on the week.
    Auto-distributor Astra International Tbk PT lost
3.6 percent.    
    Thai and Vietnam stocks fell. On a weekly
basis, Thailand lost 0.5 percent, while Vietnam gained about 1.3
    The Philippine index reversed gains from early trade,
losing 0.4 percent. 
    Earlier, Asian shares pulled back, with MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan 
dipping 0.8 percent. 

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  STOCK MARKETS                                  
  Change on day                                  
  Market          Current     Previous   Pct Move
  Singapore       2822.97     2843.8     -0.73
  Bangkok         1429.21     1435.65    -0.45
  Manila          7509.94     7536.65    -0.35
  Jakarta         4848.056    4876.794   -0.59
  Kuala Lumpur    1641.22     1650.51    -0.56
  Ho Chi Minh     629.84      631.26     -0.22
  Change on year                         
  Market          Current     End 2015   Pct Move
  Singapore       2822.97     2882.73    -2.07
  Bangkok         1429.21     1288.02    10.96
  Manila          7509.94     6952.08    8.02
  Jakarta         4848.056    4593.008   5.55
  Kuala Lumpur    1641.22     1692.51    -3.03
  Ho Chi Minh     629.84      579.03     8.78

 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
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