By Sandhya Sampath
March 20 Southeast Asian stock markets were
mixed in thin trade on Monday, with Indonesia heading for its
first fall in six sessions while the U.S. Federal Reserve's
dovish stance continued to drag the dollar lower.
Indonesian shares fell as much as 0.4 percent
following last week's record-setting spree with consumer and
energy stocks leading the decline.
"I think it's just a bit of profit-taking," said Harry Su,
an analyst with Bahana Securities in Indonesia.
Indonesia's central bank held its key policy rate unchanged
on Thursday, saying it wanted to maintain stability amid global
"Last week was a turning point for Indonesian equities. The
Federal Reserve made it clear that despite a rate hike, its
monetary policy remains 'accommodative'," said Taye Shim, head
of research at Jakarta-based Mirae Asset Sekuritas.
"Given most foreign investors have large cash positions, we
expect to see increased foreign net buying during this week."
The dollar slowly ceded ground in Asia on Monday with
greenback bulls still nursing grudges after the Fed's rate
guidance last week proved to be less "hawkish" than many had
"The dovish stance of the Fed reignited investor appetite
for risk assets, pushing up regional asset prices," said Shim.
United Tractors Tbk PT fell 2.3 percent, while
Unilever Indonesia Tbk PT dropped 0.9 percent.
An index of the 45 most liquid stocks was down 0.4
Malaysian shares rose as much as 0.6 percent to
their highest in about 22 months. Financials and telecoms led
the gains with Malayan Banking Bhd adding 0.9 percent
and Axiata Group Bhd gaining 1.6 percent.
Singapore was down after two sessions of gains with
energy and financial stocks being the biggest drag. Keppel Corp
Ltd fell 0.9 percent.
Oil prices fell as rising U.S. drilling activity and steady
supplies from OPEC countries despite touted production cuts
pressured already-bloated markets.
Philippine shares slipped, pulled down by financials
and utilities, with property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc
losing 0.9 percent.
"CPI inflation is already above 3 percent, as of February
2017. Demand-pull inflationary pressures remain prevalent in the
economy. A gradual policy tightening is forthcoming," DBS
Research Group said in a note.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0443 GMT
Market Current previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3151.84 3169.38 -0.55
Bangkok 1564.54 1560.98 0.23
Manila 7328.27 7345.02 -0.23
Jakarta 5524.893 5540.432 -0.28
Kuala Lumpur 1748.5 1745.2 0.19
Ho Chi Minh 715.39 710.54 0.68
Change on year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3151.84 2880.76 9.41
Bangkok 1564.54 1542.94 1.40
Manila 7328.27 6840.64 7.1
Jakarta 5524.893 5296.711 4.31
Kuala Lumpur 1748.5 1641.73 6.50
Ho Chi Minh 715.39 664.87 7.6
(Reporting by Sandhya Sampath; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)