By Anusha Ravindranath
Dec 15 Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
lower on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted at a
faster pace of tightening next year, with Singapore particularly
hurt by telcos on fears of intensifying competition following
the entry of a new player.
Although the U.S. central bank raised interest rate by a
quarter point as widely expected, investors had bet on a more
dovish message in terms of its outlook and did not quite expect
that the Fed would hint at three hikes in 2017, up from the
earlier forecast of two.
"Markets had anticipated most of the Fed's move. It is the
hint of an extra hike that has changed the game slightly, but
that is not enough to create any major jitters," said Vaninder
Singh, an economist with RBS in Singapore.
The Fed decision sent the greenback soaring to its highest
in nearly 14 years, while Asian shares and currencies struggled.
Singapore shares closed 0.8 percent lower after
posting their biggest intraday drop in a month, dragged down by
telcos with StarHub Ltd being the worst performer.
Telecom stocks took a hit after the regulator announced the
entry of Australian company TPG Telecom's unit, paving
way for more competition.
Philippine shares closed 1.1 percent lower, weighed
down by financial and consumer non-cyclical stocks, while
Malaysia ended in the negative turf, hurt by telcos and
Indonesian shares fell for a third straight session,
little supported by a surge in November exports.
"Looking ahead, I think Indonesia is not a market that we
are looking for in terms of exports-driven performance
improvement. If it comes, it is cherry on the top," said
"But markets are now focused on domestic demand-driven
improvement that Indonesia is expected to get in the next few
Indonesia's central bank said in September that it hoped
monetary loosening could help boost domestic demand.
Bucking the trend, Vietnam shares ended marginally
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change on day
Market Current previous close Pct Move
Singapore 2930.77 2954.06 -0.79
Bangkok 1519.65 1521.25 -0.11
Manila 6855.31 6928.34 -1.05
Jakarta 5254.362 4885.163 -0.16
Kuala Lumpur 1636.99 1643.29 -0.38
Ho Chi Minh 665.92 665.14 0.12
Change so far
Market Current End 2015 Pct Move
Singapore 2930.77 2882.73 1.67
Bangkok 1519.65 1288.02 17.98
Manila 6855.31 6952.08 -1.39
Jakarta 5254.362 4593.008 6.25
Kuala Lumpur 1636.99 1692.51 -3.28
Ho Chi Minh 665.92 579.03 15.01
(Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by