March 20, 2018 / 4:22 AM / a year ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines, Indonesia fall sharply ahead of Fed meet

    * U.S. Federal Reserve meeting to start later on Tuesday
    * Philippines falls 2.2 pct, Indonesia down 1.2 pct
    * Singapore set to lose for 5th straight session

    By Aaron Saldanha
    March 20 (Reuters) - Philippine and Indonesian shares fell
sharply on Tuesday, leading the losses across Southeast Asia, as
overnight declines on Wall Street hurt risk appetite, in the run
up to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's first policy
    Asian equities outside Japan edged lower
after the three major U.S. indexes retreated on concerns over
increased regulation for large tech companies, with Facebook Inc
 shares plunging 6.8 percent. 
    Philippine shares dropped as much as 2.2 percent, led
by losses in financials and industrials.
    The Philippines, where inflation quickened in February, has
a current account deficit and a budget deficit, leaving its
economy more exposed to U.S. rate increases, which would lead to
higher U.S. 10-year bond yields.
    "I think what is alarming the region right now is the Fed is
open to raising its benchmark rates probably four times (this
year). It is a story of a shift of funds from emerging markets
back to the U.S. given the improved economic outlook," said
Lexter Azurin, a senior equity analyst at AB Capital.
    The Fed is expected to raise rates on Wednesday, with market
participants looking for hints on the number of rate increases
in store for the rest of 2018 in Powell's commentary the next
    Indonesia's benchmark lost 1.2 percent on
broad-based weakness, with the index of the country's 45 most
liquid stocks shedding 1.3 percent.
    Telekomunikasi Indonesia lost as much as 3.4
percent to touch its lowest since December 2016.
    Singapore shares slipped 0.2 percent, mainly due to
losses in telecom services and industrial stocks, and were on
track to end lower for a fifth straight session.
    Thai shares were marginally lower on losses in real
estate and consumer staples stocks. PTT Exploration and
Production PCL dropped as much as 2.2 percent.
    Malaysian shares shed 0.2 percent as financials and
consumer discretionary stocks fell. Genting Bhd lost
as much as 1.7 percent.
For Asian Companies click;  

  Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
  Singapore              3491.98   3498.29         -0.18
  Bangkok                1798.77   1799.79         -0.06
  Manila                 8054.58   8235.54         -2.20
  Jakarta                6214.775  6289.572        -1.19
  Kuala Lumpur           1845.04   1847.94         -0.16
 Ho Chi Minh             1158.97   1159.22         -0.02
  Change so far in 2018                            
  Market                 Current   End 2017        Pct Move
  Singapore              3491.98   3402.92         2.62
  Bangkok                1798.77   1753.71         2.57
  Manila                 8054.58   8558.42         -5.89
  Jakarta                6214.775  6355.654        -2.22
  Kuala Lumpur           1845.04   1796.81         2.68
  Ho Chi Minh            1158.97   984.24          17.75

 (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
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