By Sandhya Sampath
March 7 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
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.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0428 GMT
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)