* Singapore stocks inch up on hopes of policy easing
* Thai stocks hurt by cenbank steps on capital flows
* SE Asia stocks largely unchanged for the week
By Ambar Warrick
July 12 Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended
lower on Friday after weak trade data from China, the region's
biggest trading partner, spelt further weakness for the broader
China's June exports fell and imports shrank more than
expected as a trade tiff with the United States continued to
erode demand in the country.
Fears of a resurgence in trade tensions also weighed on
regional stocks after U.S. President Donald Trump said in a
tweet that China was not living up to promises it made on buying
agricultural products from American farmers.
Local stock indexes closed the week largely unchanged as
buying in anticipation of U.S. monetary easing was offset by
weaker economic readings.
Investors now await second-quarter GDP data from China due
on Monday. A Reuters poll sees growth slowing to its weakest
pace in at least 27 years.
Indonesian stocks closed 0.7% lower and led regional
losses, with the maximum pressure on the benchmark coming from
consumer staples and telecommunication stocks. Telekom Indonesia
closed more than 2% lower, while cigarette maker
Gudang Garam shed more than 3%.
An index of the country's 45 most liquid stocks
closed down 0.9%.
Thai stocks ended 0.5% lower, with losses across all
sectors. Oil and gas explorer PTT and hospital operator
Bangkok Dusit Medical Services were among the largest
drags on the benchmark.
Equity selling in the country was exacerbated by the central
bank's steps to curb short-term speculative capital flows in a
bid to weaken the baht. A stronger local currency hurts
the country's exports.
Singapore stocks closed slightly higher as investors
bet on equities benefiting from local monetary policy easing.
Seven of 11 economists surveyed by Reuters expect the
central bank to ease policy in October after the island state
saw its slowest economic expansion in a decade for the second
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the day
Market Current Previous close Pct Move
Singapore 3357.34 3350.45 0.21
Bangkok 1731.59 1740.45 -0.51
Manila 8141.82 8154.49 -0.16
Jakarta 6373.345 6417.066 -0.68
Kuala Lumpur 1669.45 1679.26 -0.58
Ho Chi Minh 975.4 978.63 -0.33
Change on year
Market Current End 2018 Pct Move
Singapore 3357.34 3068.76 9.40
Bangkok 1731.59 1563.88 10.72
Manila 8141.82 7466.02 9.05
Jakarta 6373.345 6194.498 2.89
Kuala Lumpur 1669.45 1690.58 -1.25
Ho Chi Minh 975.4 892.54 9.28
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
July 5 Australian shares edged up on Friday and
were set for strong weekly gains as easier monetary policy and
recent strength in commodity prices helped lift the largest
sectors on the index.
July 4 Australian shares surged to their highest
in more than 11-1/2 years on Thursday as further signs of
weakness in the U.S. economy raised expectations the Federal
Reserve will start cutting interest rates.
* New Zealand ends at second consecutive record high
(Updates to close)
July 3 Australian shares rose on Wednesday,
supported by consumer and commodity stocks, but heavyweight
banking shares fell on fears of stricter lending policies.
* Miners advance on record iron ore prices
(Updates to close)
July 2 Australian shares were up slightly on
Tuesday led by gains for heavyweight miners, although trading
was subdued as many investors held back ahead of an interest
rate decision by the central bank.
July 1 Australian shares started the week higher
as a U.S.-China trade ceasefire prompted risk-on buying, while
the possibility of a local interest rate cut also lent support
Most emerging Asian currencies inched up on Friday on hopes the meeting of the presidents of China and the United States will increase risk appetites, but many traders remained cautious.
* Thai baht unchanged after C.Bank holds rates
* Indian rupee slips after Trump tweets
(Adds text, updates prices)
By Ambar Warrick
June 27 Most Asian currencies moved in tight,
guarded ranges on Thursday as mixed signals on the U.S.-China
trade front added to investors' jitters ahead of the G20 summit
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that while a
trade deal with the Chinese President Xi Jinping was possible
during the summit, he was prepared to impose tariffs on
virtually all remaining Chine imports.
Meanwhile, The South China Morning Post, citing sources,
said that Washington and Beijing were laying out an agreement
that would help avert the next round of tariffs. The news caused
some buying in Asian equities.
On the currency front, the Chinese yuan was
largely flat in anticipation of the meeting. The People's Bank
of China set its daily mid-point at a slightly higher than
Industrial profits in the country rose in May, pointing to
some strength in the import-heavy sector. However, analysts were
unsure if the modest gains could last.
The Indian rupee dropped 0.12% after Trump, on
Twitter, cited India's recent tariff hike on U.S. imports as
Earlier in the month, India had imposed higher retaliatory
tariffs on 28 U.S. products after Washington ended its
preferential trade treatment for the country.
The Taiwan dollar rose 0.23% to the dollar, driven
mainly by inflows to the country's equities, which
gained after three straight sessions of losses.
The Thai baht, emerging Asia's best performer this
year, inched slightly up against the dollar after the country's
central bank held its benchmark interest rate.
The currency appeared to be unperturbed by the bank cutting
its 2019 economic growth and exports forecast. The central bank
even flagged that the baht's strength may not be in line with
With the last trading day of the quarter landing on Friday,
Asian currencies will likely see some positioning for the next
CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR
Change on the day at 0519 GMT
Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move
Japan yen 108.080 107.77 -0.29
Sing dlr 1.355 1.3544 -0.04
Taiwan dlr 31.068 31.140 +0.23
Korean won 1157.500 1156.6 -0.08
Baht 30.760 30.775 +0.05
Peso 51.380 51.35 -0.06
Rupiah 14165.000 14170 +0.04
Rupee 69.233 69.15 -0.12
Ringgit 4.150 4.145 -0.12
Yuan 6.879 6.8803 +0.02
Change so far in 2019
Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move
Japan yen 108.080 109.56 +1.37
Sing dlr 1.355 1.3627 +0.58
Taiwan dlr 31.068 30.733 -1.08
Korean won 1157.500 1115.70 -3.61
Baht 30.760 32.55 +5.82
Peso 51.380 52.47 +2.12
Rupiah 14165.000 14375 +1.48
Rupee 69.233 69.77 +0.78
Ringgit 4.150 4.1300 -0.48
Yuan 6.879 6.8730 -0.09
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim