By Anusha Ravindranath
Dec 12 Southeast Asian stock markets closed
lower on Monday, with the Philippines posting its sharpest fall
in nearly three weeks, as investors dumped risky assets on
expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest
rates later this week.
"There is a lot of foreign selling pressure right now in
anticipation of a rate hike in the United Sates. This could even
push the Philippine peso beyond the 50 (per dollar) level," said
Manny Cruz, an analyst with Manila-based Asiasec Equities Inc.
The peso touched a two-week low of 49.870 against
the dollar, before paring its losses, helped by greenback
selling from domestic players.
"I think it is risk-off ahead of Tuesday's Fed meeting,"
said Victor Felix, an analyst with AB Capital Securities in
"The news about the production cut seems to be immaterial,"
he said referring to a decision by OPEC and non-OPEC producers
to curb oil output in their first deal since 2001.
Oil prices soared following the announcement of the deal,
but did little to boost sentiment in the Philippines, which is a
major oil importer.
Philippine shares closed down 2.5 percent, dragged
down by falls in consumer non-cyclical and industrial stocks.
Ayala Land Inc dropped 5.6 percent and was the worst
Singapore shares touched a one-week low, hit by
consumer services and industrial stocks, while oil and gas
stocks led the gains.
Among the top losers, Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd
shed 2.5 percent, while rig builder Keppel Corp gained
nearly 6 percent.
Vietnam closed lower with financials and consumer
cyclicals among the major losers.
Markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand were closed for
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change on day
Market Current previous Pct Move
Singapore 2952.19 2956.13 -0.13
Manila 6868.89 7043.16 -2.47
Ho Chi Minh 659.7 663.07 -0.51
Change on year
Market Current End 2015 Pct Move
Singapore 2952.19 2882.73 2.41
Manila 6868.89 6952.08 -1.20
Ho Chi Minh 659.7 579.03 13.93
(Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by