August 23, 2019 / 4:22 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most decline; markets await clues from Powell speech

    * Markets await U.S. Fed Chair Powell's speech due late
    * Philippine set to fall for a third straight session 
    * Singapore core inflation seen slowing to near 3-yr low -

    By Niyati Shetty
    Aug 23 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets
dropped on Friday as investors kept to the sidelines amid
uncertainty over the outlook of U.S. interest rates, while fears
of a global economic slowdown persisted.
    The U.S. Federal Reserve has come under increasing pressure
to cut borrowing costs more, including a call by President
Donald Trump on Wednesday for the central bank to reduce its
benchmark rate. 
    With U.S. bond markets signalling a looming recession,
markets are also eagerly awaiting a speech by Fed chair, Jerome
Powell, who is due to speak at a gathering of global
policymakers later in the day.
    "The rhetoric from a few regional Fed Presidents yesterday
(Thursday) underscored the divided tone within the Fed and
reinforced market view that there is no pre-set path for more
rate cuts," OCBC Bank said in note. 
    Philippine stocks declined to a more than one-week
low, with real estate firms weighing on the index for a second
session after China urged the Manila government to ban online
gaming and support its crackdown on cross-border gambling.   

    Conglomerate Alliance Global Group, casino hotels
operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp and property firm
Ayala Land were among the top laggards, retreating as
much as 4.5%, 3.1% and 1.7%, respectively. 
    Singapore equities dropped ahead of the city-state's
inflation data, with conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings
 slipping up to 1.2% and Singapore Technologies
Engineering losing 1.7%.
    The country's core inflation is seen easing to its slowest
pace in nearly three years, a Reuters poll showed, shoring up
expectations that the local central bank will loosen policy
later this year to boost the economy.
    The Jakarta index was little changed a day after
Bank Indonesia unexpectedly trimmed key interest rates by 25
basis points for a second straight month, a pre-emptive move in
anticipation of a flagging global economy.
    Bucking the trend, the Thai index advanced up to
0.6%, and was slated to post gains of 0.4% for the week.
Airports of Thailand added 0.7% and PTT PCL
climbed 1.2%. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3118.06   3127.74         -0.31
 Bangkok                1639.22   1633.56          0.35
 Manila                 7776.29   7848.83         -0.92
 Jakarta                6235.901  6239.245        -0.05
 Kuala Lumpur           1601.51   1602.47         -0.06
 Ho Chi Minh            995.58    997.26          -0.17
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3118.06   3068.76         1.61
 Bangkok                1639.22   1563.88         4.82
 Manila                 7776.29   7,466.02        4.16
 Jakarta                6235.901  6,194.50        0.67
 Kuala Lumpur           1601.51   1690.58         -5.27
 Ho Chi Minh            995.58    892.54          11.54
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
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