By Sandhya Sampath
March 6 Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
in thin trade on Monday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen pointed to a March rate hike, and on rising geopolitical
tensions in East Asia and news of slower growth in China this
Yellen on Friday all but confirmed market expectations for
an interest rate rise in March barring any sharp deterioration
in economic conditions.
"We are following a general trend in Asian markets right
now. Last week's speech from Yellen was very hawkish and she
hinted at a rate hike for March. So, I think investors are just
risk off right now," said Victor Felix, an equity analyst with
AB Capital Securities.
Risk appetite also took a hit as North Korea fired four
ballistic missiles early in the day, while a spat between China
and South Korea over missile defence deepened.
Meanwhile, China cut its growth target for this year to 6.5
percent, compared to its 2016 goal of 6.5 to 7 percent when
actual growth came in at 6.7 percent.
Philippine shares were headed for their first fall in
three sessions with consumer and industrial stocks leading the
The Philippine Central Bank said there may be no need for it
to adjust monetary policy at the moment as the market seems to
have already priced in a possible Fed rate hike.
SM Investments Corp dropped 0.5 percent, while Ayala
Corp fell 2.3 percent.
Thai shares were on track for a second straight
session of declines with losses being broad-based.
Financials and energy stocks were the biggest losers with
Bangkok Bank PCL shedding 1.1 percent.
Singapore shares were down for a second consecutive
session, with StarHub Ltd being the biggest loser.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0430 GMT
Market Current Previous Close Pct Move
Singapore 3116.83 3122.34 -0.18
Bangkok 1559.84 1566.2 -0.41
Manila 7220.69 7247.12 -0.36
Jakarta 5389.748 5391.215 -0.03
Kuala Lumpur 1719.45 1708.38 0.64
Ho Chi Minh 716.59 712.62 0.56
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3116.83 2880.76 8.19
Bangkok 1559.84 1542.94 1.10
Manila 7220.69 6840.64 5.6
Jakarta 5389.748 5296.711 1.76
Kuala Lumpur 1719.45 1641.73 4.73
Ho Chi Minh 716.59 664.87 7.8
(Reporting by Sandhya Sampath; Additional reporting by Ambar
Warrick; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)