Most Southeast Asian stock markets were on the defensive on Friday, as a surging dollar and elevated
U.S. bond yields raised the likelihood of fund outflows from emerging markets, while Vietnam shares continued their upward trend for a third session. The dollar held on to its hefty gains against a basket of currencies after the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday signaled a faster pace of rate hikes in 2017. The dollar index climbed to a 14-year high, while the 10-year Treasury note yield rose above 2.6 percent on Thursday to its highest since September 2014. Global markets are on an "inflation rally" and emerging markets "have run ahead of themselves, so a short-term shallow retracement is expected in the next four weeks," brokerage Baillieu Holst said in a note. Indonesian shares ended 0.4 percent lower, hurt by consumer and telecom stocks, and posted a weekly loss of 1.4 percent. Cocoa bean exports from the world's third largest producer of the chocolate ingredient are expected to fall by as much as 29 percent this year. PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk fell 2.8 percent, while Telekom Indonesia declined 2.3 percent. Philippine shares finished flat after gains in real estate and telecom sectors were outweighed by losses in financials. Metro Pacific Investments Corp dropped 4.6 percent, while SM Prime Holdings rose 3 percent. The Philippine stock index shed 2.7 percent this week.
Vietnamese shares ended 1.4 percent higher with Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp and Vietnam Dairy Products JSC leading the gains.
The gains will continue next week, and the stock index would reach 680 level due to muted foreign selling, said Bui Nguyen Khoa, a senior analyst with Hanoi-based BIDV Securities Co.
Vietnamese shares recorded a weekly gain of 1.8 percent.