By Rashmi Ashok
Dec 20 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian shares fell in line
with their Asian peers on Thursday after the U.S. Federal
Reserve kept most of its outlook for further interest rate hikes
in 2019, stoking fears of a blow to economic growth.
Malaysian and Indonesian shares suffered the
worst losses in the region, falling 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent,
as the Fed signalled "some further gradual" rate hikes on
Wednesday, dashing investors' hopes for a more dovish stance.
Recent signs of weak manufacturing growth in China and a
cooling housing market in the United States have compounded
worries about global growth in the midst of an already damaging
trade dispute between the two major economies.
"Against the backdrop of the trade war and weak economic
data from major economies, people were hoping the Fed would
extend a lifeline," said Fio Dejesus, an equity research analyst
at RCBC Securities in Manila. "But their mandate was different
from what the market hoped for."
A fall in industrial stocks dragged Philippine shares
lower on Thursday. Conglomerate SM Investments Corp and
lender BDO Unibank Inc shed 1.7 percent and 1.5
Over the past year, a big portion of the fall in Philippine
shares was because of a weakening peso currency, and new
U.S. rate hikes could strengthen the dollar further, piling
more pressure on the peso and Philippine markets, Dejesus said.
In Kuala Lumpur, palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantation
Berhad slipped 2.5 percent, while IHH Healthcare
Berhad shed 3.5 percent.
Indonesia's benchmark was pulled lower by financial stocks,
with Bank Central Asia Tbk losing 1.9 percent and Bank
Mandiri (Persero) Tbk falling 0.3 percent.
Thai stocks slipped 0.43 percent as financial and
telecom shares weighed. Lender Siam Commercial Bank PCL
lost 0.4 percent, while Total Access Communication PCL
was off 0.6 percent.
Bucking the trend, Singapore's benchmark saw modest
gains, while Vietnamese stocks were little changed.
For Asian Companies click:
SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0308 GMT
Change on the day
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3061.06 3058.65 0.08
Bangkok 1594.28 1601.12 -0.43
Manila 7569.94 7579.62 -0.13
Jakarta 6144.145 6176.094 -0.52
Kuala Lumpur 1645.21 1655.66 -0.63
Ho Chi Minh 919.87 919.24 0.07
Change on year
Market Current End prev yr Pct Move
Singapore 3061.06 3402.92 -10.05
Bangkok 1594.28 1753.71 -9.09
Manila 7569.94 8,558.42 -11.55
Jakarta 6144.145 6,355.65 -3.33
Kuala Lumpur 1645.21 1796.81 -8.44
Ho Chi Minh 919.87 984.24 -6.54
(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin