February 8, 2018 / 4:51 AM / 10 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most slip on caution amid volatile global markets

    * Asian shares ex-Japan slip 0.1 pct
    * Wall Street ends lower overnight
    * Singapore on track for 5th losing session

    By Nikhil Nainan
    Feb 8 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged
lower on Thursday, signalling caution, as Wall Street's early
gains overnight fizzled out, leaving investors wary of further
volatility in the global markets.
    U.S. stocks ended lower on Wednesday as bond yields climbed
higher, and the threat of rising inflation kept investors on
edge over the prospect of more interest rates hikes.

    In Asia trade, the S&P e-mini futures slid 0.3
percent, suggesting the likelihood of another uncertain session
on Wall Street, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan slipped 0.1 percent.
    Singapore shares gave up early gains of as much as
1.1 percent and turned marginally lower, on course for a fifth
consecutive session of losses.
    Lender DBS Group Holdings soared as much as 5
percent after it posted a 33 percent rise in its quarterly
profit and said an improving interest rate environment would
lift net interest margins for the year.
    Singapore Telecommunications fell as much as 2
percent to its lowest in over two years, after it posted a 8.5
percent drop in quarterly profit.
    Philippine shares retreated as much as much 0.8
percent, as investors remained watchful of the outcome of the
country's central bank meet.
    "I think what also added to the movement today is that
investors are a bit cautious with the bank meeting today, with
the likelihood that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) might
raise rates following the inflation figure in January," said
Lexter Azurin, a senior equity analyst at AB Capital. 
    Philippine annual inflation accelerated much faster than
expected in January, data showed on Tuesday, although BSP
Governor Nestor Espenilla maintained that the factors driving
inflation are "temporary" and "would eventually stabilise."

    Majority of the analysts polled by Reuters said they
expected no change in rates on Thursday, while
Mizuho Bank said in a note it expected a preemptive 25 basis
points raise to promptly anchor inflation. 
    Index heavyweights SM Investments Corp and Universal
Robina Corp dragged the index lower, falling as much as
1.2 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
    Meanwhile, Malaysian shares remained largely steady,
up as much as 0.2 percent, with telecom stocks leading the
    Axiata Group Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd were
the top gainers on the index, rising as much as 2 percent and
1.2 percent, respectively.
    Vietnam shares fell as much as 1.3 percent, set for a
third losing session in four.
    Vietnam posted a trade surplus of $181 million in January,
contrary to a government estimate which predicted a $300 million
deficit, the customs department said on Thursday.
For Asian Companies click;   
 Change as at 0447 GMT                            
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3381.26   3383.77         -0.07
 Bangkok                1791.02   1785.44         0.31
 Manila                 8620.4    8667.56         -0.54
 Jakarta                6529.639  6534.869        -0.08
 Kuala Lumpur           1839.74   1836.68         0.17
 Ho Chi Minh            1027.82   1040.55         -1.22
 Change on year                                   
 Market                 Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore              3381.26   3402.92         -0.64
 Bangkok                1791.02   1753.71         2.13
 Manila                 8620.4    8558.42         0.72
 Jakarta                6529.639  6355.654        2.74
 Kuala Lumpur           1839.74   1796.81         2.39
 Ho Chi Minh            1027.82   984.24          4.43

 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Amrutha Gayathri)
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