SE Asia Stocks-Jittery on U.S. rate risks; Philippines sheds 1.1 pct

  • Feb 22, 2018
  • Kitco

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were buffeted by a region-wide sell-off on Thursday as investors fretted over the possibility of a quickening in U.S. interest rate hikes, with Vietnam and the Philippines bearing the brunt.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee voiced more confidence in the need to keep raising interest rates at its latest policy meeting, minutes released on Wednesday showed, with most believing that inflation would perk up. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 lost 0.3 percent and FTSE futures slid 0.8 percent. Asia shares ex-Japan dropped 1 percent. Philippine shares shed 1.1 percent, dragged by index heavyweight SM Investments Corp which slid 3.6 percent to its lowest close since mid-November.

The Singapore index was down 0.8 percent, weighed down by industrials and financial stocks.

Lender DBS Group Holdings retreated from recent all-time highs to fall 1.5 percent, while Keppel Corporation Ltd declined 2.2 percent.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd was the biggest loser on the index, slipping 4 percent to a one-week closing low.

Indonesian shares fell for a third day, closing down 0.8 percent, with losses driven by financial stocks such as Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT which fell nearly 4 percent.

Vietnam slipped 1 percent, dragged by utility and consumer staples stocks. Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp slumped 5.4 percent, while Vinamilk shed 1.1 percent.

Thai shares finished 0.7 percent lower, with losses across most sectors outweighing gains in energy stocks led by oil and gas giant PTT Pcl which rose 3.5 percent.

PTT rose for a fourth session to post a record closing high.

(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)