July 17, 2018 / 4:21 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most markets tread water before Powell's testimony

    * Indonesia down for 2nd session
    * Thailand hits one-week low

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    July 17 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets trod
water on Tuesday, with investors awaiting U.S. Federal Reserve
Chairman Jerome Powell's first congressional testimony for any
clues on the pace of interest rate hikes.
    Powell is likely to reiterate the Fed's stance towards
gradual monetary policy tightening, and market focus will be on
his views on recent trade tensions.
    He will testify on the economy and monetary policy before
the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, followed by
testimony on Wednesday to the House of Representatives Financial
Services Committee. 
    A sharp fall in crude oil prices on Monday and soft Chinese
economic data also weighed on investor sentiment.
    Indonesian shares fell as much as 1 percent,
extending losses into a second session. Bank Central Asia
 declined 2.3 percent, while Astra International
 was down over 2 percent. 
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
slid 1.5 percent.
    Singapore shares erased early falls to trade higher,
with DBS Group Holdings rising as much as 1.2 percent
and Singapore Telecommunications gaining 0.9 percent.
    The city-state's non-oil domestic exports rose less than
expected in June, hurt by slower growth of pharmaceutical
shipments, data showed.
    "What is particularly concerning for a small open economy
like Singapore, is that these figures are looking this weak
before the global trade war has even really got going," ING said
in an article.
    Malaysian shares were little changed after six
straight sessions of gains.  
    Telecom stocks were among the top boost with Digi.Com Bhd
 rising as much as 6.3 percent and Axiata Group Bhd
 gaining 1.4 percent.
    Philippine shares slipped as gains in industrial
stocks were outweighed by losses in financials. 
    JG Summit was the biggest boost gaining as much as
5.2 pct, while Ayala Corp fell 2 percent.
    Thai shares slipped to a one-week low, dragged by
energy stocks. PTT Exploration and Production
declined about 4.8 percent on weak oil prices.    
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0420 GMT
    
 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3247.41   3232.79         0.45
 Bangkok         1624.56   1627.69         -0.19
 Manila          7347.15   7369.44         -0.30
 Jakarta         5855.478  5905.158        -0.84
 Kuala Lumpur    1727.13   1726.67         0.03
 Ho Chi Minh     914.49    911.11          0.37
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore       3247.41   3402.92         -4.57
 Bangkok         1624.56   1753.71         -7.36
 Manila          7347.15   8558.42         -14.15
 Jakarta         5855.478  6355.654        -7.87
 Kuala Lumpur    1727.13   1796.81         -3.88
 Ho Chi Minh     914.49    984.24          -7.09
 
 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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