May 24, 2016 / 5:20 AM / 2 years ago

SE Asia Stocks-Bearish as worries linger over Fed rate rise

By Rushil Dutta
    May 24 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stocks traded lower
in cautious trade on Tuesday, in line with broader Asia as the
possibility of an U.S. rate rise loomed large.
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 fell as much as 0.6 percent, hovering near its
two-and-a-half-month low hit on May 19.
    Investors will listen closely to a slew of U.S. Fed
policymakers this week, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen at a
panel event hosted by Harvard University on Friday, to gauge how
soon they will raise interest rates. 
    The Fed will likely tighten policy a bit quicker in 2017
than this year, by perhaps one or two more interest rate hikes,
a top Fed official said on Monday, noting the decision whether
to hike in mid-June will hinge on economic data before then. 
    Investors are also likely to focus on the second estimate of
U.S. first-quarter growth due out on Friday and data on new home
sales, durable goods orders and consumer sentiment due this
    "Concerns over the rate hike in June are causing weakness in
the Asian markets. We, therefore, expect bearish markets until
then," a trader from Singapore said.
    "However, if the rate hike is pushed to the end of the year,
we might see some pick-up in trading activities."
    Singapore's Straits Times Index was down after two
sessions of gains, led by financials.
    Property developers also took a beating, with Global
Logistic Properties and City Developments Ltd
 among the biggest losers.
    Indonesian stocks were headed for their first fall
in three sessions, weighed down by financials and
energy stocks.
    Bank Central Asia Tbk PT lost 0.76 percent, while
Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT fell 0.5
    Daewoo Securities Indonesia's head of research, Taye Shim,
said he believes investors are taking a "wait-and-see approach".
    Thailand was on track for its fourth consecutive
session of losses, while Malaysia was dragged down by
financials and consumer cyclicals.
    Bucking the trend, Philippine shares rose with
financial stock BDO Unibank rising 0.5 percent.
For Asian Companies click;  

  STOCK MARKETS                                 
  Change at                                     
 0503 GMT                               
  Market         Current     Previous   Pct Move
  Singapore      2754.37     2766.93    -0.45
  Bangkok        1379.81     1381.69    -0.14
  Manila         7358.43     7306.69    0.71
  Jakarta        4729.684    4743.662   -0.29
  Kuala Lumpur   1630.46     1634.89    -0.27
  Ho Chi Minh    610.87      611.03     -0.03
  Change on                             
  Market         Current     End 2015   Pct Move
  Singapore      2754.82     2882.73    -4.44
  Bangkok        1378.78     1288.02    7.05
  Manila         7358.43     6952.08    5.85
  Jakarta        4729.684    4593.008   2.98
  Kuala Lumpur   1630.46     1692.51    -3.67
  Ho Chi Minh    610.87      579.03     5.50

 (Reporting by Rushil Dutta; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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