By Anusha Ravindranath
Dec 22 Southeast Asian stock markets were
subdued on Thursday, tracking Asian peers, with the Philippines
hitting its lowest in more than 10 months as investors switched
to a risk-off mode ahead of a key central bank meeting.
The Philippine central bank is widely expected to keep its
benchmark interest rate on hold on Thursday. All 13 economists
polled by Reuters said they expect no change in the central
bank's key overnight borrowing rate while some of them expect it
to raise rates as early as in the first half of 2017.
"Investors are probably taking a risk-off strategy," said
Mikey Macainag, an analyst with Manila-based Sunsecurities Inc,
adding the market had seen heavy capital outflows over the past
few days on the back of a stronger dollar and a weakening peso.
The dollar retreated from its 14-year-high on Thursday as
investors took profits before a batch of U.S. economic data due
later in the day.
The Philippine index fell as much as 1.77 percent to
its lowest since February, weighed down by financial and
industrial stocks. BDO Unibank Inc dropped 1.7 percent
while Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co fell 2.8 percent.
Asian shares also struggled following an uninspiring session
on Wall Street, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan hitting its lowest in a
Singapore shares hit their lowest in more than three
weeks and were headed for a fourth straight session of declines,
pulled down by financial and industrial stocks. DBS Group
Holdings Ltd declined as much as 1.5 percent, while
United Overseas Bank hit a more than two-week low.
Malaysian shares slipped to their lowest in more
than two weeks as telecoms and financials lost ground, while
Jakarta fell for an eighth straight session, dragged
down by financial and consumer stocks.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change at 0356 GMT
Market Current previous Pct Move
Singapore 2877.31 2901.7 -0.84
Bangkok 1507.69 1508.57 -0.06
Manila 6578.11 6686.36 -1.62
Jakarta 5097.967 5111.392 -0.26
Kuala Lumpur 1626.94 1629.59 -0.16
Ho Chi Minh 666.89 666.94 -0.01
Change so far
Market Current End 2015 Pct Move
Singapore 2877.31 2882.73 -0.19
Bangkok 1507.69 1288.02 17.05
Manila 6578.11 6952.08 -5.38
Jakarta 5097.967 4593.008 10.99
Kuala Lumpur 1626.94 1692.51 -3.87
Ho Chi Minh 666.89 579.03 15.17
(Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by