September 18, 2019 / 5:11 AM / 5 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most subdued ahead of U.S. Fed verdict

    * Federal Reserve will conclude two-day meet later in the
    * Malaysia at 1-week low, dragged by consumer stocks
    * Thai index leads declines as energy stocks tumble

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Sept 18 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were
tepid on Wednesday amid cautious mood as investors awaited a
widely expected interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve,
while a slew of regional central bank meetings kept a lid on
risk appetite.
    The U.S. central bank will conclude a two-day policy review
on Wednesday, with markets mostly pricing in a quarter-point
cut, but a show of strong manufacturing output for August on
Tuesday forced investors to walk back some of their dovish
    Federal funds futures implied late on Tuesday that traders
saw about a 51% chance of Fed easing the key borrowing costs. 

    "In the absence of any surprise in the rate move, investors
will be looking at the message from the FOMC in the statement
and subsequent press conference. The risk probably sits once
again with a hawkish cut and if this comes to fruition, then
expect stock markets to take a hit along with risk trades
overall," said Nick Twidale, director and co-founder, Xchainge. 
    Markets have largely pinned their hopes on central banks to
cut their lending rates, with the Indonesian central bank set to
meet on Thursday, while the People's Bank of China is slated to
decide on its benchmark rates later this week.
    Leading declines, Thai shares came under pressure as
a slump in oil prices hurt energy stocks.
    Oil and gas majors PTT PCL and PTT Exploration and
Production dropped 3.2% and 3.9%, respectively.
    Malaysian stocks hit a one-week low, dragged by
consumer stocks. Leading palm oil producers Kuala Lumpur Kepong
Bhd and Sime Darby Plantation Bhd lost 1.1%
and 1.4%, respectively.    
    The Philippine bourse extended losses into a second
session following local reports here
 of a potential shutdown for the Philippines Offshore Gaming
    Casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp, among
the top drags on the benchmark, slipped as much as 2.5%.    
    Meanwhile, Indonesian stocks advanced on the back of
consumer stocks. Top cigarette maker Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna
 rebounded after diving nearly 20% earlier this week
after the government announced steep price and tax hikes.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3171.26   3183            -0.37
 Bangkok                1655.09   1663.93         -0.53
 Manila                 7901.52   7932.23         -0.39
 Jakarta                6265.166  6236.69          0.46
 Kuala Lumpur           1596.46   1604.3          -0.49
 Ho Chi Minh            995.74    996.74          -0.10
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3171.26   3068.76         3.34
 Bangkok                1655.09   1563.88         5.83
 Manila                 7901.52   7,466.02        5.83
 Jakarta                6265.166  6,194.50        1.14
 Kuala Lumpur           1596.46   1690.58         -5.57
 Ho Chi Minh            995.74    892.54          11.56

 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
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