Tuesday, 16 December 2014

SE Asia Stocks- Extend declines on emerging markets sell-off

JAKARTA (Dec 16): Southeast Asian stock markets slumped on Tuesday after emerging market currencies were hit by global risk aversion, triggered by a sharp decline in the Russian rouble.

"Conditions in Russia pushed investors to return to holding U.S. dollar, which hurt local currencies and stock markets in the region," said Muhamad Alfatih, an analyst with Samuel Sekuritas in Jakarta.

The Russian central bank on Tuesday sharply hiked interest rates to halt a collapse in the rouble. Before the hike, the currency hit a record low on plunging oil prices and sanctions linked to the Ukraine crisis.

Shares in Bangkok led the regional decline with a 2.4 percent loss led by energy and banking stocks. The index is down for the sixth consecutive session.

Thai stock exchange data shows foreign investors have been net sellers in the past four sessions to Monday with a total outflow of 14 billion baht ($424.50 million).

Thailand's central bank said it has not seen "unusual capital outflow" and is not planning to take measures to support the baht.

The Indonesian stock index fell as much as 2 percent to its lowest in five weeks after the rupiah hit 12,950 against the dollar earlier in the day, its lowest since August 1998. The index extended a 1 percent loss from the previous session.   

Philippine stocks fell 1.1 percent while Singapore's Straits Times Index lost nearly 2 percent. – Reuters

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