March 7, 2017 / 5:29 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Muted as U.S. rate hike prospects weigh

    By Sandhya Sampath
    March 7 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
subdued in lacklustre trade on Tuesday as investors prepped up
for a likely interest rate increase by the U.S. Federal Reserve
next week.
    Fed Chair Janet Yellen has signalled that the central bank 
might raise interest rates at its next meeting on March 14-15,
and may move faster after that than it has in years.

    "After Janet Yellen's speech last week, the market will be
ready for a rate hike when the U.S. Federal Reserve meets next
week unless this Friday's jobs report is a disaster," Net
Research Asia, a Singapore-based equity research house, said in
    The U.S. monthly jobs report on Friday includes non-farm
payrolls, seen rising by 190,000 in a Reuters poll.         
    In the Philippines, the key index was largely
unchanged as gains in financials and utilities were offset by
losses in industrials and consumer stocks. 
    BDO Unibank Inc gained 3 percent, while
conglomerate LT Group Inc lost 7.3 percent.
    "Yesterday they (the Philippine central bank) announced no
rate hike. I think it brought back confidence in the market,"
said Mikey Macainag, an analyst with Manila-based Sunsecurities
    The Philippines' central bank governor said on Tuesday that
the banking regulator saw no reason to change its monetary
policy stance even after inflation picked up to its fastest pace
in 27 months in February.
    Consumer prices rose 3.3 percent but was within the range
the central bank had expected, the statistics agency said.

    "The Philippine inflation data has minimal
impact...Everything is still looking for the interest rate hike
in the U.S.," Macainag said.
    Singapore stocks rebounded after two sessions of
losses, led by industrials. Automotive conglomerate Jardine
Matheson Holdings Ltd climbed 0.6 percent.
    Thailand dropped 0.1 percent, on track for its third
day of losses, led by consumer and telecom stocks. Charoen
Pokphand Foods PCL was down 0.9 percent.
    Indonesia was down 0.2 percent, while Malaysia
 and Vietnam were flat.
    Asian shares rose, with MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up almost 0.5
percent after pulling back slightly in early trade. 
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market             Current     Previous Close  Pct Move
  Singapore          3126.26     3121.51         0.15
  Bangkok            1552.27     1553.61         -0.10
  Manila             7311.03     7313.87         -0.04
  Jakarta            5398.933    5409.817        -0.20
  Kuala Lumpur       1728.53     1727.36         0.07
  Ho Chi Minh        716.05      716.29          -0.03
  Change on year                                 
  Market             Current     End 2016        Pct Move
  Singapore          3126.26     2880.76         8.52
  Bangkok            1552.27     1542.94         0.60
  Manila             7311.03     6840.64         6.9
  Jakarta            5398.933    5296.711        1.93
  Kuala Lumpur       1728.53     1641.73         5.29
  Ho Chi Minh        716.05      664.87          7.7
 (Reporting by Sandhya Sampath; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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