July 23, 2019 / 10:21 AM / 4 months ago

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore gains as core inflation dip raises policy easing hopes

    * Vietnam leads gains in the region
    * Singapore rises on hopes of a rate-cut
    * Thailand dips, UOB sees no export growth for the year

    By Anushka Trivedi
    July 23 (Reuters) - Singapore shares strengthened on
Tuesday, amid gains in most Southeast Asian markets, after its
core inflation hit a more than two-year low, raising hopes of an
easing monetary policy by its central bank in October. 
    Official data showed that Singapore's core inflation gauge
in June rose 1.2% from a year earlier, as expected by a Reuters
poll. This was the lowest print since March 2017 when core
inflation rate grew at the same pace.
    The Singapore benchmark rose over 0.4%.
    With the weakness in export data last week and the recent
inflation figures, chances of a 50 bp interest-rate cut at the
scheduled October review are all but confirmed, though an
earlier intra-meeting move cannot be ruled out, ANZ research
said in a note.  
     Shares of utilities provider Sembcorp Industries Ltd
 firmed 3.3%. 
    Meanwhile, other markets in the pack rose on hopes of
similar policy action by U.S. and European central banks. 
    The European Central bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve are
due to hold meetings in the upcoming weeks, with chances of the
Fed delivering a 25 bp cut mostly affirmed. 
    The ECB is more likely to utilise the review on Thursday to
set the stage for cuts in the future, according to economists
polled by Reuters.
    Vietnam shares closed at a more than 3-month high and
were the top gainers in the region.
    The country's largest firm Vingroup JSC added 2.8%
and steel maker Hoa Phat Group JSC rose 4.6% 
    Among losers were Indonesian shares, shedding 0.5%,
as financial and telecom stocks dragged the benchmark.
    The country's largest bank by market value Bank Central Asia
Tbk PT fell 0.9%, while Smartfren Telecom Tbk PT
 sank 24.8%.
    An index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks
declined 0.3%.
    Thai stocks dipped with mostly telecom stocks
bearing the brunt.
    Internet services provider Jasmine International PCL
 tumbled as much as 22.4% to mark its worst session in
nearly four years. 
    UOB Global Economics and Markets Research sees no export
growth in 2019 for Thailand, after rising 6.7% last year, in
part due to the U.S.-China trade tensions. 
    "Thailand is deeply entrenched in the global supply chain,
and the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on China will have a direct
harmful impact on Thai exports such as computer parts and
integrated circuits", UOB added.
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                               
 Market                 Current  Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3373.13  3357.22         0.47
 Bangkok                1724.87  1727.58         -0.16
 Manila                 8251.46  8246.83         0.06
 Jakarta                6403.81  6433.547        -0.46
 Kuala Lumpur           1655.67  1655.4          0.02
 Ho Chi Minh            989.46   982.04          0.76
 Change so far in 2019                           
 Market                 Current  End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3373.13  3068.76         9.92
 Bangkok                1724.87  1563.88         10.29
 Manila                 8251.46  7,466.02        10.52
 Jakarta                6403.81  6,194.50        3.38
 Kuala Lumpur           1655.67  1690.58         -2.06
 Ho Chi Minh            989.46   892.54          10.86

($1 = 1,179.1100 won)

 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by
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