February 21, 2017 / 10:05 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Tepid ahead of release of Fed minutes

    By Christina Martin
    Feb 21 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets, except
Vietnam, were subdued on Tuesday due to a lack of global cues
ahead of the release of minutes from a U.S. Federal Reserve
meeting and a series of speeches by Fed officials this week.
    The heads of five regional U.S. Fed branches are scheduled
to speak this week. In addition, Fed Board Governor Jerome
Powell speaks on Wednesday, when minutes of the last Federal
Open Market Committee meeting are also due.
    The Fed will likely need to raise interest rates at its
upcoming policy meeting in March, Chair Janet Yellen said last
week, although she flagged considerable uncertainty over
economic policy under the Trump administration.
    "I think investors right now are in a 'wait and see' moment
between Trump's tax plan announcement and the Fed meeting next
month," said Victor Felix, equity analyst at AB Capital
    U.S. President Donald Trump plans to announce the most
ambitious tax reform plan since the Reagan era in the next few
weeks, the White House said earlier this month, without offering
specifics other than citing the need for a lower tax burden on
    "There is also the Brexit trigger next month political
risks...so I guess that's keeping investors trading cautiously,"
said Felix.
    The British government plans to trigger Article 50 of the
EU's Lisbon Treaty by the end of March, which will formally
kickstart its exit process from the European Union.
    Singapore shares were down 0.1 percent, hurt by
consumer staples and industrials. 
    Golden Agri-Resources Ltd slumped 5.9 percent,
while Keppel Corp edged 1.1 percent lower.
    Philippine shares trimmed earlier losses to end flat.
    "We are expected to be trading sideways for the rest of the
week because of a lack of actionable events," Felix said. 
    Indonesia ended 0.3 percent lower, while Malaysian
shares dropped 0.4 percent.
    The Thai index slipped 0.9 percent, snapping four
straight days of gains.
    Bucking the trend, Vietnam hit a fresh nine-year
closing high, boosted by real estate stocks and consumer
    Property firm Vingroup JSC hit a record high, while
Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Joint Stock Corp rose
5.4 percent. 

For Asian Companies click;  

  Market           Current  Previous Close  Pct Move
  Singapore        3094.19  3096.69         -0.08
  Bangkok          1564.42  1578.47         -0.89
  Manila           7282.68  7281.19         0.02
  Jakarta          5340.99  5359.288        -0.34
  Kuala Lumpur     1706.55  1712.58         -0.35
  Ho Chi Minh      716.55   710.59          0.84
  Change on year                            
  Market           Current  End 2016        Pct Move
  Singapore        3094.19  2880.76         7.41
  Bangkok          1564.42  1542.94         1.39
  Manila           7282.68  6840.64         6.46
  Jakarta          5340.99  5296.711        0.84
  Kuala Lumpur     1706.55  1641.73         3.95
  Ho Chi Minh      716.55   664.87          7.77

 (Reporting by Christina Martin; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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