By Geo Tharappel
Feb 14 Southeast Asian shares fell on Tuesday,
as investors turned cautious ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen's congressional testimony that could give clues on
the pace of interest rate hikes.
Regional markets, which spiralled down in early trade on a
strong dollar, drew no respite though the greenback eased after
U.S President Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael
Flynn resigned over Russian contacts.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against six other currencies, fell 0.1 percent, pulling away
from a three-week high hit on Monday.
Yellen on Tuesday will present the U.S. central bank's
semi-annual report on monetary policy and economy in testimony
to the Senate Banking Committee, followed by the semi-annual
monetary testimony before the House Financial Committee on
Singapore closed 1.3 percent lower, battered
primarily by financial stocks. The index had been rising this
year and had hit an 18-month high in the previous session.
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd lost 3.3
percent after the city-state's second biggest lender reported an
18-percent dip in fourth-quarter profit on bad debt
Top lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd, which is
expected to report earnings later this week, fell 3.4 percent to
close at its lowest since Jan 19. United Overseas Bank Ltd
shed 1.6 percent.
Singapore banks are taking a hit as companies in the
oilfield services industry restructure their bonds and loans in
a weak operating environment. They are also being impacted by
low interest rates and a sluggish overall economy.
Philippines fell 1.2 percent, dragged down by
industrial and real estate stocks.
The index is undergoing a correction after testing a
resistance at 7,300 level in the previous session, according to
Mikey Macainag, an analyst with Manila-based Sunsecurities Inc.
Conglomerate SM Investments Corp declined 2.5
percent to close at its lowest in more than a month, while
Property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc shed 2.6
International Container Terminal Services Inc
closed 2.6 percent down, at its lowest in almost four weeks,
after the company said an agreement to operate a port in Brunei
would not be renewed.
Thai shares fell 0.8 percent, with losses in energy
and industrial stocks weighing heavily on the index.
Energy conglomerate PTT PCL, down 2.5 percent,
weighed most on the index while Airports of Thailand PCL
shed 2.5 percent.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: Change on the day
Market Current prev close Pct Move
Singapore 3072.47 3111.63 -1.26
Bangkok 1572.24 1585.24 -0.82
Manila 7206.84 7294.67 -1.20
Jakarta 5380.67 5409.556 -0.53
Kuala Lumpur 1708.9 1710.24 -0.08
Ho Chi Minh 706.26 705.9 0.05
Change this year
Market Current End 2016 Pct Move
Singapore 3072.47 2880.76 6.65
Bangkok 1572.24 1542.94 1.90
Manila 7206.84 6840.64 5.35
Jakarta 5380.67 5296.711 1.59
Kuala Lumpur 1708.9 1641.73 4.09
Ho Chi Minh 706.26 664.87 6.23
(Reporting by Geo Tharappel in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas