March 28, 2018 / 4:21 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets follow U.S. lower; Thailand slips before rate call

    * Thai cenbank expected to leave key rate unchanged
    * Singapore drops over 1 pct, down for 5th day in six
    * Philippines declines for third session in four

    By Aaron Saldanha
    March 28 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
declined on Wednesday following a tech-induced drop in U.S.
stocks overnight, with Singapore shares shedding over 1 percent
and Thailand declining half a percent before a central bank
policy meeting.
    The three major U.S. stock indexes lost between 1.4 percent
and 2.9 percent, fuelled by a selloff in the tech sector on
concerns about government regulation stemming from the strong
growth and privacy questions surrounding Facebook.
    "It appears that markets were trading technology risks, but
in more than one sense," Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and
strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a note, adding that Facebook's
privacy infringement was a "convenient excuse to sell-off ahead
of the long weekend."       
    U.S. markets are closed on Friday for a holiday. MSCI's
broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
 fell 0.4 percent on Wednesday.
    Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index dropped as much
as 1.2 percent, heading for a fifth session of fall in six. It
has declined nearly 3.5 percent so far this month in what could
be its biggest monthly fall since January 2016. 
    Financials were the top losers on Wednesday with lender
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd weighing the most.
OCBC fell as much as 2.5 percent, while peer DBS Group Holdings
 dropped up to 2.3 percent.
    Thailand's key SET Index fell after two straight
sessions of gains, hurt by consumer staples.
    Trading store operator Siam Makro PCL slumped as
much as 12.3 percent, its sharpest in more than four-and-a-half
    The Bank of Thailand will decide on its one-day repurchase
rate later in the day with analysts polled by Reuters
unanimously expecting rates to be left unchanged.
    "BOT interest policy will be kept at 1.50 percent, so it
should be pretty neutral to the market... I do not think it will
be impacting Thai equities much," said Teerada Charnyingyong, an
analyst at Phillip Capital Thailand, adding that large caps
could help cushion losses from foreign fund outflows.   
    Indonesian shares fell 0.4 percent, primarily due to
financials. Bank Negara Indonesia dropped 3.8 percent.
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
slipped about 0.8 percent.
    Philippine shares declined for a third session in
four with industrials and real estate stocks weighing heavily on
the index. SM Investments Corp dropped about 2.4
    Vietnam shares were slightly higher with Vingroup JSC
 up 1.1 percent.
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market                 Current      Previous close  Pct Move
  Singapore              3399.35      3439.35         -1.16
  Bangkok                1794.07      1802.58         -0.47
  Manila                 8010.1       8047.03         -0.46
  Jakarta                6182.829     6209.35         -0.43
  Kuala Lumpur           1857.24      1862.45         -0.28
 Ho Chi Minh             1172.37      1171.73         0.05
  Change so far in 2018                               
  Market                 Current      End 2017        Pct Move
  Singapore              3399.35      3402.92         -0.10
  Bangkok                1794.07      1753.71         2.30
  Manila                 8010.1       8558.42         -6.41
  Jakarta                6182.829     6355.654        -2.72
  Kuala Lumpur           1857.24      1796.81         3.36
  Ho Chi Minh            1172.37      984.24          19.11
 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha, Additional reporting by Saif
Naqvi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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