By Aparajita Saxena
March 8 Southeast Asian stock markets were
subdued on Wednesday as caution prevailed ahead of the U.S.
Federal Reserve's meeting next week where it is widely expected
to raise interest rates.
Investors are awaiting cues on the U.S. economy along with
the government's payrolls report for February, which is due on
Friday, to determine whether a rate hike at the upcoming meeting
is a done deal.
"Investors are booking profits across the market in
anticipation of a rate hike. We are seeing some sourness in
sentiment from Wall Street's losses last night as well," said
Theodore Tan, an analyst with AP Securities.
U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday as weakness in drug and
financial shares sent the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones
Industrial Average to their first consecutive sessions of
declines in more than a month.
"Asian shares have risen for the past six weeks, so some
amount of profit-taking is normal," Tan added.
Thai shares came off two-month lows to close
marginally higher, buoyed by energy stocks. Oil majors PTT Pcl
and PTT Exploration and Production Pcl
gained 1.3 percent and 0.6 percent respectively, after investors
actively bought shares of the two blue chip companies, analyst
Financials were the biggest losers, with Group Lease Pcl
diving 25.52 percent to its lowest close since Oct. 13.
Led by financials, Singapore shares ended 0.5 percent
higher after a flat opening.
The three big Singapore banks rose between 0.7 percent and 1
percent, while exchange operator Singapore Exchange
climbed 1.5 percent.
Philippines shares ended flat, with telecom stocks
gaining the most. PLDT Inc rose 6.6 percent after it
issued a robust full-year outlook, while Globe Telecom
climbed 4.7 percent.
For Asian Companies click;
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS; CHANGE ON DAY
Market Current Previous Pct Move
Singapore 3145.29 3130.44 0.47
Bangkok 1551.73 1549.87 0.12
Manila 7294.56 7294.52 0.00
Jakarta 5393.764 5402.615 -0.16
Kuala Lumpur 1725.54 1728.66 -0.18
Ho Chi Minh 716.6 716.54 0.01
Change this year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3145.29 2880.76 9.18
Bangkok 1551.73 1542.94 0.57
Manila 7294.56 6840.64 6.63
Jakarta 5393.764 5296.711 1.83
Kuala Lumpur 1725.54 1641.73 5.10
Ho Chi Minh 716.6 664.87 7.78
(Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry