April 4, 2019 / 9:55 AM / 3 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines drops ahead of inflation data, others subdued

    * Singapore edges up, gains for 6th straight session
    * Philippine March inflation forecast to have slowed
    * Genting Singapore slumps to 3-month low 

    By Shreya Mariam Job
    April 4 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
subdued on Thursday in thin trade as investors exercised caution
awaiting further development on the Sino-U.S. trade talks, while
Philippines slipped ahead of the country's March inflation data.
    U.S.-China trade talks made "good headway" last week in
Beijing and the two sides aim to bridge differences during talks
that could extend beyond three days this week, White House
economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.
    Philippine stocks closed 0.52 percent lower, weighed
down by financials, ahead of the March inflation data on Friday.
    Philippine inflation likely slowed for a fifth straight
month in March, a Reuters poll showed. The consumer price index
is forecast to have risen 3.5 percent in March from a year
earlier, below the previous month's 3.8 percent and the lowest
since January 2018.
    The slowing inflation is expected to lead to the central
bank reversing some of last year's policy tightening to support
economic growth.
    Shares of Bank of the Philippine Islands and Ayala
Corp dropped 3.6 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
    Malaysian shares edged higher despite a fall in the
country's February exports.
    Malaysia's exports fell sharply in February, the first
contraction since August as trade slowed with most of its
partners, government data showed on Thursday.
    "Alongside signs of constructive U.S.-China talks, this
(uptick in Purchasing Managers Indices (PMI) from U.S., China
and the region in March) could help Malaysia's exports and
industrial activity turn the corner in 2Q 2019," a note from UOB
said.
    Meanwhile, Malaysia will sell a superyacht allegedly bought
with stolen funds from state fund 1MDB to casino operator
Genting Malaysia Bhd for $126 million, in the first
major asset sale by Kuala Lumpur to recover billions lost from
the fund.
    Shares of Genting Malaysia slipped 0.9 percent. 
    In Singapore, Genting Singapore Ltd shares plunged
9.4 percent to a three-month low, after the casino operator
unveiled a S$4.5 billion ($3.3 billion) expansion plan and the
government said it would hike casino entry prices and taxes,
capping gains in the benchmark index.
    
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3316.21  3311.27         0.15
 Bangkok                1644.22  1649.06         -0.29
 Manila                 7854.13  7895.06         -0.52
 Jakarta                6494.63  6476.066        0.29
 Kuala Lumpur           1645.07  1643.21         0.11
 Ho Chi Minh            986.91   984.46          0.25
                                                 
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3316.21  3068.76         8.06
 Bangkok                1644.22  1563.88         5.14
 Manila                 7854.13  7,466.02        5.20
 Jakarta                6494.63  6,194.50        4.85
 Kuala Lumpur           1645.07  1690.58         -2.69
 Ho Chi Minh            986.91   892.54          10.57
                                                 
 

 (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru;; Editing by
Gopakumar Warrier)
  
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