June 23, 2016 / 10:22 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Cautious as Brexit vote begins; Vietnam, Thailand up

By Shashwat Pradhan
    June 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks edged higher
as cautious investors kept a keen eye out for Britons voting to
decide the future of their country in a referendum on Thursday,
even as bookmakers' odds shifted in favour of remaining in the
European Union.  
    The sterling gained more than 1 percent to a 2016 high
against the dollar in morning trade in London, with betting
exchange Betfair showing odds of around 15 percent for a vote to
leave, down from more than 40 percent a week ago before the
killing of British lawmaker Jo Cox. 
    Asian markets remained erratic, thin and cautious, as
investors remained largely on the sidelines ahead of the
referendum as a closely fought vote meant any large positions
taken before the outcome was vulnerable to being stopped out.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 rose 0.2 percent while many markets in Asia were
flat to slightly negative.
    Market volatility has already spiked in the run up to the
referendum, with the CBOE Volatility index up 14 percent
on Wednesday alone as polls showed the outcome was too close to
    In light of the Brexit vote, risk sentiment is affecting
Southeast Asian markets, said Grace Aller of AP Securities in
    Vietnam shares closed nearly 1 percent higher on
expectations of upbeat corporate earnings, traders and analysts
said. Financial stocks led the gainers.
    Vietcombank, Vietnam's top lender by market value,
rose 2.6 pct.
    Thai stocks closed higher, led by energy and
financial stocks, with Thailand's fourth-largest lender by
assets Kasikornbank closing up 3.1 percent.
    Philippine shares extended losses into a second
straight session, dragged down by financial stocks.
    The Philippine central bank kept its benchmark interest rate
steady on Thursday, as expected, and said it was prepared to act
to contain any market volatility that might stem from Britain's
vote on whether to exit the European Union. 
    Jakarta ended lower, snapping four days of gains,
weighed down by consumer stocks.
For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                        
  Change on day                                        
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        2793.85       2786.13      0.28
  Bangkok          1436.4        1424.68      0.82
  Manila           7729.78       7756.37      -0.34
  Jakarta          4874.309      4896.852     -0.46
  Kuala Lumpur     1639.98       1637.69      0.14
  Ho Chi Minh      632.27        626.41       0.94
  Change on year                              
  Market           Current       End 2015     Pct Move
  Singapore        2793.85       2882.73      -3.08
  Bangkok          1436.4        1288.02      11.52
  Manila           7729.78       6952.08      11.19
  Jakarta          4874.309      4593.008     6.12
  Kuala Lumpur     1639.98       1692.51      -3.10
  Ho Chi Minh      632.27        579.03       9.19

 (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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