Indonesia, Philippines indexes end down after expected rate decisions

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BANGKOK (Sept 11): Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended flat to weaker on Thursday after a bout of late selling, with Indonesian shares erasing early gains after the central bank maintained key interest rates. Philippine stocks closed 0.2 percent lower after expected rate hikes.

Jakarta's composite index closed down 0.2 percent, with interest rate sensitive stocks such as Bank Rakyat Indonesia down 0.2 percent after a 1.2 percent rise in early trade.

Indonesia's central bank held its key interest rate steady on Thursday, as expected, but questions loom about how much the now-contained inflation rate might increase if the new president raises fuel prices to cut costly subsidies.

The Philippine main index eased 0.2 percent, weighed down by a 1.2 percent drop in shares of Philippine Long Distance Telephone, the country's biggest firm by market value.

The Philippine central bank raised both its policy rate and the rate on its special deposit accounts by 25 basis points on Thursday, its most aggressive move against persistent inflation amid buoyant economic growth.

Nine of 11 economists polled by Reuters had expected the central bank to tighten monetary conditions on Thursday.

Brokers in Bangkok said investors awaited U.S. data, including the U.S. Federal Reserve's statement middle of next week, to guage the direction of foreign fund flows.

Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand posted net foreign outflows worth 599.8 billion rupiah ($50.74 million), 296 million peso ($6.74 million) and 175 million baht ($5.44 million), respectively, Thomson Reuters and stock exchange data

Among bright spots, shares of True Corporation Pcl, 18-percent owned by China Mobile Ltd, finished up 4.2 percent, after the telecoms operator said it expected to make a net profit in the fourth quarter of this year after years of losses.

Change on day
Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
Singapore          3347.28       3338.63       +0.26
Kuala Lumpur       1866.11       1870.85       -0.25
Bangkok            1580.87       1582.13       -0.08
Jakarta            5133.03       5142.99       -0.19
Manila             7202.06       7212.78       -0.15
Ho Chi Minh         628.99        628.80       +0.03

Change on year
Market             Current       End 2013    Pct Move
Singapore          3347.28       3167.43       +5.68
Kuala Lumpur       1866.11       1866.96       -0.05
Bangkok            1580.87       1298.71      +21.73
Jakarta            5133.03       4274.18      +20.09
Manila             7202.06       5889.83      +22.28
Ho Chi Minh         628.99        504.63      +24.64
(1 US dollar = 11,820.0000 rupiah)
(1 US dollar = 43.9200 Philippine peso)
(1 US dollar = 32.1800 Thai baht)