Most fall on foreign fund outflows; Thailand hits near 24-year high

JAKARTA: Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended lower on Wednesday on foreign fund outflows ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's September meeting, while Thai shares extended gains to their highest in nearly 24 years.
The Fed minutes due later in day may bolster views of a December rate hike and provide clues on the pace of U.S. monetary policy tightening.
"There has been some selling pressure from foreign funds in the Asian markets since last month, attributed to the winding of the balance sheet of the Fed and in anticipation of a Fed rate hike by December," said Manny Cruz, an analyst with Asiasec Equities.
"It seems that there has been some realignment or adjustments on the exposure of foreign funds on the Asian markets."
Philippine shares came off an all-time high to close 0.5 percent lower as consumer staples and industrial stocks slipped. Robinsons Retail Holdings fell to a more than two-week closing low, while LT Group declined 5.2 percent.    
 Indonesian shares fell 0.4 percent to a near two-week closing low, hurt by declines in telecom stocks. Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) dropped for the third straight session, shedding 2.9 percent, while XL Axiata  declined 4.7 percent to its lowest close since late August.
The index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks fell 0.6 percent.
Singapore shares shed 0.3 percent, hurt by losses in financials, with DBS Group Holdings and
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp off 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.
Thailand's SET index rose as much as 0.7 percent to its highest since January 1994, extending gains into a second session after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday the country will hold general elections in November next year.   Lender Kasikornbank PCL led the gains, rising 2.4 percent to a more than four-week closing high.