August 22, 2019 / 10:17 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia cuts losses after surprise rate trim

    * Bank Indonesia cuts key rates by 25 bps to 5.50%
    * Philippines weighed down by property stocks 
    * Singapore July inflation data due on Friday

    By Niyati Shetty
    Aug 22 (Reuters) - Indonesian stocks cut losses to close
slightly lower on Thursday as a surprise interest rate reduction
by the central bank calmed investors worried about a possible
economic slowdown, while Philippine shares extended falls to
their lowest close in nearly a week.
    Bank Indonesia (BI) cut key rates for a second month in a
row, this time by 25 basis points to 5.5%, saying it was acting
pre-emptively in anticipation of a global economic
slowdown.
    The central bank said it would continue with an
"accommodative policy mix", but ING senior economist Nicholas
Mapa said he expected "BI to monitor closely the next moves of
the U.S. Federal Reserve as well as the stability of rupiah
before seriously considering further rate cuts in the near
term".  
    The key Jakarta stock index recovered from early
falls to trade in positive territory after the rate-cut news,
before ending down 0.2%. 
    Materials and telecom stocks weighed the most, with
Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk PT slipping 2.4% and
Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT falling
0.5%.
    Broader Asia was also down as investors looked at central
banks in hopes for stimulus to shore up economic growth, while 
uncertainty over the outlook for U.S. interest rate cuts
lingered.
    Minutes of the Fed's July meeting released on Wednesday
showed deep splits among policymakers over whether to cut
interest rates last month, raising the stakes for Chair Jerome
Powell's speech at a gathering of global policymakers on Friday.

    Philippine stocks declined for a second straight
session, dragged by property stocks as China urged the country
to ban online gaming after welcoming its move to stop accepting
applications for online gaming licences.
    Office landlords with significant exposure to Philippine
offshore gaming operators, including Megaworld Corp,
D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, and Filinvest Land
 were heavily sold down by investors, RCBC Securities
said in a note. Megaworld slumped 8.5% and DMW fell 4.6%. 
    Malaysian stocks rose 0.5%, with IOI Corp Bhd
 adding 1.7% and Misc Bhd gaining 1%.
    Singapore equities edged higher ahead of July
inflation data due on Friday. 
    Core inflation likely eased to its slowest pace in nearly
three years last month, a Reuters poll showed, reinforcing hopes
that the central bank would loosen policy later this year.

    Singapore Telecommunications Ltd rose 1.6% and
conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings added 1.4%.    
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
    
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3127.74   3122.57         0.17
 Bangkok                1633.56   1638.24         -0.29
 Manila                 7848.83   7886.91         -0.48
 Jakarta                6239.245  6252.967        -0.22
 Kuala Lumpur           1602.47   1594.59         0.49
 Ho Chi Minh            997.26    994.38          0.29
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3127.74   3068.76         1.92
 Bangkok                1633.56   1563.88         4.46
 Manila                 7848.83   7,466.02        5.13
 Jakarta                6239.245  6,194.50        0.72
 Kuala Lumpur           1602.47   1690.58         -5.21
 Ho Chi Minh            997.26    892.54          11.73
 
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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