Oct 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
sluggish on Monday, in line with broader Asia as investors
digested comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Yellen said on Friday the Fed may need to run a
"high-pressure" economy in order to reverse damage from the
global financial crisis that depressed output.
Her remarks, however, did not address immediate policy
concerns directly and didn't change prevailing views that the
Fed is likely to raise interest rates in December.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
dropped 0.4 percent.
Thai stocks were marginally higher after losing as
much as 1 percent in early trade. The index declined 1.8 percent
last week on concerns about King Bhumibol Adulyadej's health.
The king passed away on Thursday.
Foreigners were net sellers in the previous four sessions.
They also cut their holdings in Thai bonds during the period
and became net buyers as of early Monday, according to data from
the Thai Bond Market Association.
Financials and industrials fell the most, with Kasikornbank
Pcl losing 4.8 percent on weaker loan growth target
Singapore shares fell as much as 0.8 percent in
early trade after data showed September exports declined less
than expected, though a grim outlook for the economy prevailed.
Losses were driven by financials and industrials, the
biggest sectors on the main index.
Realtors CapitaLand Commercial Trust and UOL Ltd
were among the biggest losers.
Philippine stocks rose 0.3 percent, heading for a
second consecutive session of gains, with telecoms and
industrials providing support.
Globe Telecom and Ayala Corp were among the
biggest gainers, rising 2.4 percent and 1.8 percent
Malaysian and Vietnamese shares posted minor
losses, while Indonesian shares recorded paltry gains as
investors shrugged off trade data that showed exports and
imports contracted on a yearly basis in September against
expectations for import growth.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Market Current Previous Pct Move
Singapore 2812.48 2815.24 -0.10
Bangkok 1478.94 1477.61 0.09
Manila 7413.62 7389.3 0.33
Jakarta 5420.55 5399.885 0.38
Kuala Lumpur 1657.8 1658.97 -0.07
Ho Chi Minh 685.02 687 -0.29
Market Current End 2015 Pct Move
Singapore 2812.48 2882.73 -2.44
Bangkok 1478.94 1288.02 14.82
Manila 7413.62 6952.08 6.64
Jakarta 5420.55 4593.008 18.02
Kuala Lumpur 1657.8 1692.51 -2.05
Ho Chi Minh 685.02 579.03 18.30
(Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Additional reporting
by Jong Woo Cheon in Singapore; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)