By Anusha Ravindranath
Dec 21 Indonesian shares hit a near 4-week
closing low on Wednesday, falling for a seventh straight session
as investors stayed on the sidelines due to a lack of positive
triggers, while Thai shares lost ground for a third day.
The Jakarta Composite Index closed nearly 1 percent
lower, dragged down by consumer staples and financial stocks.
Shares of tobacco companies Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk PT
and Gudang Garam Tbk PT were down 4.8
percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
"I think lack of positive catalysts inside and out is what
is keeping the investors sidelined," said Taye Shim, head of
research at Daewoo Securities Indonesia. "They are still
anticipating that the Fed's (U.S. Federal Reserve) rate hike
will trigger higher value of the U.S. dollar, going forward."
The dollar eased back on Wednesday from the 14-year high
reached the previous day, taking a breather in a run that has
seen it chalk up its entire gains for the year since the Nov. 8
U.S. presidential election.
Thai shares hit a near 3-week closing low, dragged
down by industrials and consumer stocks.
Thailand's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate
unchanged as widely expected and maintained its growth estimate
for this year and 2017.
"That is what we pretty much expected them to do," said
Thapana Panich, an analyst with Deutsche TISCO Investment
Advisory. "They can't afford to raise rates at this point as the
economy is heavily relying on government stimulus."
Policymakers are counting on government spending to keep
Thailand's economic engines humming as it confronts rising
global trade protectionism and emerging market capital outflows
in the wake of rising U.S. interest rates.
Malyasian stocks were down 0.3 percent, dragged
lower by telecom and financial shares.
The country's inflation rate in November rose to its highest
in six months, government data showed.
Singapore shares closed at their lowest in three
weeks as financial and consumer stocks lost ground.
Golden Agri-Resources Ltd ended 3.4 percent lower,
the worst performer on the index.
Bucking the trend, the Philippine index closed 0.4
percent higher, snapping a four-day losing streak, while Vietnam
was up 0.6 percent.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on day
Market Current Previous Pct Move
Singapore 2901.70 2911.31 -0.33
Bangkok 1508.57 1511.65 -0.20
Manila 6686.36 6658.66 0.42
Jakarta 5111.392 5162.477 -0.99
Kuala Lumpur 1629.59 1634.52 -0.30
Ho Chi Minh 666.94 662.66 0.65
Change so far
Market Current End 2015 Pct Move
Singapore 2803.02 2882.73 -2.77
Bangkok 1508.57 1288.02 17.12
Manila 6686.36 6952.08 -3.82
Jakarta 5111.392 4593.008 11.29
Kuala Lumpur 1629.59 1692.51 -3.72
Ho Chi Minh 666.94 579.03 15.18
(Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; ; Editing by