July 29, 2019 / 4:01 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall ahead of Fed policy decision

    * Singapore hits two-week low
    * Thai markets closed for holiday

    By Anushka Trivedi
    July 29 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell
on Monday as investors exercised caution ahead of a widely
anticipated rate cut by the Federal Reserve, with the focus
shifting to whether the U.S. central bank will signal further
monetary stimulus.
    The Fed is broadly expected to dish out a quarter point
rate-cut at its policy review that ends on Wednesday, but
markets await chief Jerome Powell's speech to look for cues on
further policy easing as a protracted tariff dispute with China
continues to damage business sentiment.
    Meanwhile, lead negotiators from the United States and China
are set to meet in Shanghai on Tuesday for their first
face-to-face interaction since trade talks stalled in May,
although hopes of an immediate breakthrough are limited.
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday warned that China
could hold out until after the U.S. election in 2020 to secure a
trade deal to be able to negotiate with a different president.

    "All talk and no action, will make for but shallow relief
and so sustained and significant 'risk on' reaction from
U.S.-China trade talks is highly unlikely," Mizuho said in a
note to clients.
    In Southeast Asia, Singapore stocks, which are
sensitive to developments in the Sino-U.S. trade tiff, declined
0.7% to two-week lows.
    Industrials were the top losers with in-flight catering
service provider SATS Ltd and Hutchison Port Holdings
Trust shedding 1.6% and 2.2%, respectively. 
    In other news, DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Southeast
Asia's biggest lender, reported quarterly record net interest
income. DBS was the first Singapore bank to report earnings,
with rival banks soon to follow.
    DBS shares were 0.7% lower after rising in early trade.
    Philippine shares shed 0.7% amid broad-based losses. 
    Power generator First Gen Corp dropped 1.9%, while
property developer GT Capital Holdings skidded 2%.
    Indonesian shares edged lower to five-week lows due
to weakness in consumer and telecom stocks. 
    Bucking the trend, Vietnam shares inched higher.
    Thailand's stock market was closed for a holiday.

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 STOCK MARKETS                                    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3341.98   3363.76         -0.65
 Manila                 8128.83   8183.99         -0.67
 Jakarta                6308.422  6325.237        -0.27
 Kuala Lumpur           1643.58   1647.96         -0.27
 Ho Chi Minh            993.99    993.35          0.06
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3341.98   3068.76         8.90
 Bangkok                1717.97   1563.88         9.85
 Manila                 8128.83   7,466.02        8.88
 Jakarta                6308.422  6,194.50        1.84
 Kuala Lumpur           1643.58   1690.58         -2.78
 Ho Chi Minh            993.99    892.54          11.37

 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
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