March 19, 2019 / 4:07 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most subdued ahead of cenbanks' policy decisions; Indonesia drags

    * Thailand on track to snap three sessions of losses
    * Malaysia February inflation expected to fall
    * Singapore set to snap three sessions of gains

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    March 19 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were
subdued in thin trading on Tuesday, with Indonesia falling the
most, as investors remained on sidelines ahead of the U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting, and policy decisions by some
regional central banks. 
    The Federal Reserve is likely to hold interest rates at its
policy meeting, waiting until the third quarter before raising
rates once more, according to a Reuters poll.
    The Indonesian index was the worst hit in the
region, dipping 0.4 percent. Consumer stocks led declines as 
Bank Indonesia is expected to keep rates on hold at their
meeting on Thursday despite the country recording the lowest
inflation in nearly a decade. 
    "Current economic data is still not immediately supportive
of a cut given that the trade situation remains fragile," a note
from OCBC had said.
    Indonesia's central bank is widely expected to keep interest
rates unchanged for a fourth straight month on Thursday,
according to a Reuters poll, with a growing number of analysts
expecting BI's next move to be a cut.
    Shares of conglomerate Astra International Tbk Pt
and animal food manufacturer Charoen Pokphand Indonesia Tbk Pt
 dipped below 2 percent. 
    An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
declined 0.6 percent.  
    Singapore's benchmark fell marginally with industrial
majors Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd and Jardine
Strategic Holdings Ltd slipping 0.9 percent and 0.6
percent, respectively.        
    Meanwhile, Thai index moved up 0.3 percent
recovering from three straight sessions of losses, ahead of the
Bank of Thailand policy meeting on Wednesday. 
     Thailand's central bank is expected to keep its benchmark
policy rate steady on Wednesday for a second straight review
after a hike in December, a Reuters poll showed, in a bid to
support a slowing economy.
    Malaysian stocks pared early gains as investors
exercised caution ahead of the country's February inflation
data, which is expected to fall according to a Reuters poll.


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 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3211.67   3212.96         -0.04
 Bangkok                1621.63   1617.57         0.25
 Manila                 7872.76   7873.02         0.00
 Jakarta                6485.607  6509.447        -0.37
 Kuala Lumpur           1689.36   1690.94         -0.09
 Ho Chi Minh            1010.54   1011.86         -0.13
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3211.67   3068.76         4.66
 Bangkok                1621.63   1563.88         3.69
 Manila                 7872.76   7,466.02        5.45
 Jakarta                6485.607  6,194.50        4.70
 Kuala Lumpur           1689.36   1690.58         -0.07
 Ho Chi Minh            1010.54   892.54          13.22
 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
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