December 21, 2016 / 10:35 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia hits near 4-wk closing low, Thai falls for 3rd day

By Anusha Ravindranath
    Dec 21 (Reuters) - Indonesian shares hit a near 4-week
closing low on Wednesday, falling for a seventh straight session
as investors stayed on the sidelines due to a lack of positive
triggers, while Thai shares lost ground for a third day.
    The Jakarta Composite Index closed nearly 1 percent
lower, dragged down by consumer staples and financial stocks.
    Shares of tobacco companies Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk PT
 and Gudang Garam Tbk PT were down 4.8
percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. 
    "I think lack of positive catalysts inside and out is what
is keeping the investors sidelined," said Taye Shim, head of
research at Daewoo Securities Indonesia. "They are still
anticipating that the Fed's (U.S. Federal Reserve) rate hike
will trigger higher value of the U.S. dollar, going forward." 
    The dollar eased back on Wednesday from the 14-year high
reached the previous day, taking a breather in a run that has
seen it chalk up its entire gains for the year since the Nov. 8
U.S. presidential election. 
    Thai shares hit a near 3-week closing low, dragged
down by industrials and consumer stocks.
     Thailand's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate
unchanged as widely expected and maintained its growth estimate
for this year and 2017. 
    "That is what we pretty much expected them to do," said
Thapana Panich, an analyst with Deutsche TISCO Investment
Advisory. "They can't afford to raise rates at this point as the
economy is heavily relying on government stimulus."
    Policymakers are counting on government spending to keep
Thailand's economic engines humming as it confronts rising
global trade protectionism and emerging market capital outflows
in the wake of rising U.S. interest rates. 
    Malyasian stocks were down 0.3 percent, dragged
lower by telecom and financial shares. 
    The country's inflation rate in November rose to its highest
in six months, government data showed. 
    Singapore shares closed at their lowest in three
weeks as financial and consumer stocks lost ground. 
    Golden Agri-Resources Ltd ended 3.4 percent lower,
the worst performer on the index. 
    Bucking the trend, the Philippine index closed 0.4
percent higher, snapping a four-day losing streak, while Vietnam
 was up 0.6 percent. 

For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                        
  Change on day                                        
  Market           Current       Previous     Pct Move
  Singapore        2901.70       2911.31      -0.33
  Bangkok          1508.57       1511.65      -0.20
  Manila           6686.36       6658.66      0.42
  Jakarta          5111.392      5162.477     -0.99
  Kuala Lumpur     1629.59       1634.52      -0.30
  Ho Chi Minh      666.94        662.66       0.65
  Change so far                               
  Market           Current       End 2015     Pct Move
  Singapore        2803.02       2882.73      -2.77
  Bangkok          1508.57       1288.02      17.12
  Manila           6686.36       6952.08      -3.82
  Jakarta          5111.392      4593.008     11.29
  Kuala Lumpur     1629.59       1692.51      -3.72
  Ho Chi Minh      666.94        579.03       15.18

 (Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; ; Editing by
Biju Dwarakanath)
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