November 2, 2016 / 5:26 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines leads losses; jitters over U.S. election, Fed

By Sandhya Sampath
    Nov 2 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were lower
on Wednesday, in line with broader Asia, led by a 2 percent drop
in Philippine shares as investors await clues on the timing of a
U.S. rate hike, amid heightened uncertainty about the
presidential race.
    The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates
unchanged on Wednesday but set the stage for a hike in December
amid signs the economy is picking up steam. 
    A latest Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Democratic presidential
nominee Hillary Clinton's lead narrowing slightly, over new
developments that could weigh against her in the election.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 slid 1.3 percent to seven-week lows.
    "Philippines continues to trek lower from last week and I
think it's because some investors are pulling money ahead of the
Fed meeting conclusion today," said Ralph Christian Bodollo, an
equity research analyst with RCBC Securities Inc.
    Philippines, which was shut for two days, hit its
lowest since May 11 on Wednesday and were headed for an eighth
straight session of losses, dragged down by financials and
utilities, with conglomerate SM Prime Holdings Inc 
losing 2.2 percent.
    "The surprise decision by BOJ to stand pat on its monetary
policy might also be one of the reasons Philippines is down,"
Bodollo added. 
    The Bank of Japan held off on expanding stimulus on Tuesday,
signalling that it will keep policy unchanged unless a severe
shock threatens to derail a fragile economic recovery.
    Singapore shares fell as much as 0.6 percent, on
track for a fourth consecutive session of losses, weighed down
by energy and financial stocks, with United Overseas Bank Ltd
 falling 1 percent and Keppel Corp Ltd 
falling 0.6 percent.
    Oil prices fell for a fourth day on Wednesday, as jittery
investors awaited official U.S. stockpile figures later in the
day after industry data showed a surprise build in inventories,
underlining a persistent global glut. 
    Malaysia fell 0.4 percent, while Vietnam 
bucked the trend by gaining 0.1 percent.  
    Indonesia was marginally down, while Thailand
 fell 0.6 percent.
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  Change at 0450 GMT                                          
  Market               Current     Previous Close  Pct Move
  Singapore            2807.62     2813.69         -0.22
  Bangkok              1495.97     1504.52         -0.57
  Manila               7264.18     7404.80         -1.90
  Jakarta              5414.82     5416.007        -0.02
  Kuala Lumpur         1663.72     1670.93         -0.43
  Ho Chi Minh          677.15      676.60          0.08
  Change on year                                   
  Market               Current     End prev yr     Pct Move
  Singapore            2807.62     2882.73         -2.61
  Bangkok              1495.97     1288.02         16.14
  Manila               7264.18     6952.08         4.49
  Jakarta              5414.82     4593.008        17.89
  Kuala Lumpur         1663.72     1692.51         -1.70
  Ho Chi Minh          677.15      579.03          16.95
 (Reporting by Sandhya Sampath; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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