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SE Asia Stocks-Subdued as Fed minutes awaited; Philippines edges higher
October 10, 2017 / 4:51 AM / 2 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Subdued as Fed minutes awaited; Philippines edges higher

    By Shanima A
    Oct 10 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets trod water
on Tuesday as investors steered clear of riskier assets ahead of
the release of the Federal Reserve's September meeting minutes
on Wednesday, awaiting clues on the pace of future U.S. rate
increases.
    Expectations that improved prospects for the U.S. economy
would prompt the Fed to raise interest rates later this year
have led to the strengthening of the dollar over the past month.

    Interest rate futures are now pricing in a near 90 percent
chance that the Fed will raise rates again in December.
    "The sentiment what we see now is the shift of funds from
the emerging markets back to the developed countries,
particularly to U.S. as the U.S. economy is showing signs of
recovery," said Lexter Azurin, an analyst with Manila-based AB
Capital Securities.
    Singapore shares fell 0.2 percent, with financials
driving the losses. Lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp
 dropped as much as 1.1 percent, while DBS Group
Holding declined more than 1 percent, set to extend
losses to a second session.
    Indonesia's main index was little changed, as gains
in financials and energy stocks offset losses in consumer
staples and telecom. 
    Mining contractor United Tractors was the top
gainer on the index, climbing 1.7 percent, while clove-cigarette
maker Gudang Garam's 2.4 percent drop made it the
worst performer. 
    Philippines was the only gainer in the region, set
for a seventh winning session in eight, as expectations of a tax
overhaul continued to underpin sentiment. 
    The country's Senate will discuss on Wednesday the tax
reform proposal, which is crucial to President Rodrigo Duterte's
ambitious plans to foster higher, sustainable growth.
    The tax measures, approved by the lower house of Congress in
May, seek to expand the value-added tax base, raise excise taxes
on fuel and automobiles, and slap levies on sugar-sweetened
beverages among other changes. 
    The country's trade deficit widened to $2.41 billion in
August from the previous month's $1.65 billion, data showed on
Tuesday.
    Security Bank, the top gainer on the index,
climbed 2.4 percent.
    Malaysian shares fell 0.2 percent as the telecom and
consumer sectors declined, with Hong Leong Financial
giving up 0.7 percent and Telekom Malaysia dropping 1
percent.
    

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0403 GMT
  Market          Current      previous    Pct Move
                               close       
  Singapore       3284.46      3291.56     -0.22
  Bangkok         1692.66      1692.22     0.03
  Manila          8382.06      8367.38     0.18
  Jakarta         5914.084     5914.933    -0.01
  Kuala Lumpur    1760.39      1764.03     -0.21
 Ho Chi Minh      807.08       808.96      -0.23
                                           
  Change so far                            
 this year                                 
  Market          Current      End 2016    Pct Move
  Singapore       3284.46      2880.76     14.01
  Bangkok         1692.66      1542.94     9.70
  Manila          8382.06      6840.64     22.5
  Jakarta         5914.084     5296.711    11.66
  Kuala Lumpur    1760.39      1641.73     7.23
 Ho Chi Minh      807.08       664.87      21.4
 

 (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha
Gayathri)
  

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