June 13, 2018 / 10:20 AM / in a year

SE Asia Stocks-Philippine index slides over 2 pct; Fed decision awaited

    * Most lower ahead of Fed policy decision
    * Singapore hits 2-month low
    * Vietnam up

    By Nicole Pinto
    June 13 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy
decision, with Philippines losing over 2 percent and Singapore
hitting a two-month low. 
    Later in the day, the Federal Reserve is expected to hike
its interest rates for the second time this year after a move in
March, but the bigger question for investors is the outlook for
future monetary tightening amid an ongoing economic expansion.

    The European Central Bank at its policy meeting on Thursday
will debate on whether to end a 2.55 trillion euro bond purchase
scheme this year as inflation and growth pick up.
    Philippines, the biggest loser in the region, closed
2.2 percent lower, with SM Investments Corp, JG Summit
Holdings Inc and Ayala Corp shedding more than
3 percent each. 
    The Philippine peso touched its lowest since June
2006 on concerns over the country's high inflation rates. Nestor
Espenilla, the country's central bank governor, said the bank
would consider not just recent inflation data but all potential
drivers of future inflation when it reviews monetary policy next
    A weaker peso has increased forex risk for investors holding
local securities, especially for those converting it back into
the dollar, said Fio De Jesus, an equity research analyst with
RCBC Securities in Manila.
    "I think its more of the peso and the Fed that is moving the
    Singapore shares closed at their lowest level in two
months led by United Overseas Bank Ltd, DBS Group
Holdings Ltd and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd
, all ending more than 1 percent lower. 
    Thai shares fell after two sessions of gains while
Vietnam, the sole gainer in the region, ended higher for
a ninth session in ten. 
    Indonesian financial markets are closed until June 19 for
Eid Al-Fitr.
    For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                            
                    Current   Previous Close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3392.51   3430.69         -1.11
 Bangkok            1718.34   1727.29         -0.52
 Manila             7602.98   7771.3          -2.17
 Kuala Lumpur       1763.57   1764.16         -0.03
 Ho Chi Minh        1030.53   1020.76         0.96
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3392.51   3402.92         -0.31
 Bangkok            1718.34   1753.71         -2.02
 Manila             7602.98   8558.42         -11.16
 Kuala Lumpur       1763.57   1796.81         -1.85
 Ho Chi Minh        1030.53   984.24          4.70

 (Reporting by Nicole Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)
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