February 28, 2018 / 4:37 AM / 10 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall on renewed U.S. rate hike fears

    * Asian shares ex-Japan fall 0.9 pct 
    * Philippines drops as much as 1.3 pct
    * Malaysian shares fall 0.5 pct

    By Aditya Soni
    Feb 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Wednesday, tracking a sell-off in broader Asian equities, as
the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman's comments brought back fears
of faster rate rises in the United States. 
    Fed Chairman Jerome Powell expressed optimism about the U.S.
economy and said recent data had strengthened his confidence on
inflation, prompting increased bets that the U.S. central bank
will squeeze in a fourth rate hike this year. 
    Although Asian markets are quite sensitive to U.S. rate
increases, strong economic growth in the region is expected to
attract steady inflows, said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec
Equities Inc in Manila.  
    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 sank 1.1 percent in the session, after Wall
Street suffered on Tuesday its biggest daily drop since the
selloff three weeks ago.
    Philippines shares slumped as much as 1.3 percent,
dragged by industrials and financials. 
    Conglomerate SM Investments Corp dipped 1.9 percent,
while Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc fell 3.6 percent. 
    Malaysian shares fell 0.5 percent, with lender CIMB
Group Holdings slipping 0.8 percent and Tenaga
Nasional Bhd inching 0.6 percent lower.
    Malaysia's annual inflation rate, which stayed above 3
percent each month last year, likely cooled to 2.9 percent in
January, according to a Reuters poll. The data is due later in
the day.
    Indonesian shares also fell, led by a decline in PT
Bank Central Asia Tbk which accounted for most of the
    Meanwhile, Vietnam shares firmed slightly and Thai
shares held steady.
    Thailand's annual industrial output slightly beat
expectations as it rose for a third straight month in January,
helped by higher production of cars, petroleum and rubber
products, data showed.
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change on the day at 0355 GMT
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3534.99   3540.39         -0.15
 Bangkok            1831.21   1830.39         0.04
 Manila             8500.07   8592.38         -1.07
 Jakarta            6577.391  6598.926        -0.33
 Kuala Lumpur       1862.26   1871.46         -0.49
 Ho Chi Minh        1121.48   1119.61         0.17
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End prev yr     Pct Move
 Singapore          3534.99   3402.92         3.88
 Bangkok            1831.21   1753.71         4.42
 Manila             8500.07   8,558.42        -0.68
 Jakarta            6577.391  6,355.65        3.49
 Kuala Lumpur       1862.26   1796.81         3.64
 Ho Chi Minh        1121.48   984.24          13.94
 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
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