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United Kingdom

Devika Syamnath

SE Asia Stocks-Slip as investors cautious ahead of cenbank policy meetings

17 Jun 2019

* Focus on U.S Fed, BOJ, BOE meetings this week * Philippines ends over 1% lower * Singapore falls, weak export data cements case for rate cut By Devika Syamnath June 17 Southeast Asian stock markets settled lower on Monday as investors exercised caution ahead of key central bank policy meetings later this week, while political ructions in the Middle East and Hong Kong stifled risk appetite across the region. Investors would look for clues on global policy narrative from the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank Of Japan and the Bank of England meetings this week, as the case for easy money strengthens against the backdrop of slowing global growth amid a prolonged U.S.-China trade dispute. While most are expecting a U.S. Fed rate cut in July, "we are looking at September because the U.S. economy is actually not too bad," said Joanne Goh, an equity strategist with DBS Bank Ltd. Recent strength in U.S. retail sales numbers undermined the urgency for a rate cut and the Fed is seen leaving borrowing costs unchanged this week, though possibly laying the groundwork for a rate cut later this year. Fanning wider tensions, massive protests continued in Hong Kong, calling for Beijing-backed leader Carrie Lam to step down over an extradition bill. Tensions spiked in the Middle East after the United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. The Philippine index closed over 1% lower. The benchmark clocked its fourth straight weekly gain on Friday. Conglomerate JG Summit Holdings was the top loser, down 3.5%. "(Philippines) had a strong move above 8,000 in the last two weeks... some profit taking is going on," said Goh. With domestic demand and strong GDP growth above 6%, you would think its quite resilient but with slowing growth and unresolved U.S.-China trade war, it remains to be seen if Philippines can be that resilient in terms of economic growth, Goh added. The Singapore benchmark finished 0.4% lower, with industrials Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings leading declines. The stocks lost 3.2% and 2.4%, respectively. Singapore's weak export data released on Monday prompted economists to raise bets on the prospect of monetary easing later this year. Indonesia's index closed down 1%, with telecom stocks and consumer staples claiming most losses. Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) was the biggest weight on the main index, down 2.3%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3207.99 3222.63 -0.45 Bangkok 1667.23 1672.33 -0.30 Manila 7908.99 7990.2 -1.02 Jakarta 6190.525 6250.265 -0.96 Kuala Lumpur 1638.4 1638.63 -0.01 Ho Chi Minh 946.95 953.61 -0.70 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3207.99 3068.76 4.54 Bangkok 1667.23 1563.88 6.61 Manila 7908.99 7,466.02 5.93 Jakarta 6190.525 6,194.50 -0.06 Kuala Lumpur 1638.4 1690.58 -3.09 Ho Chi Minh 946.95 892.54 6.10 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

SE Asia Stocks-Subdued ahead of cenbank policy meetings

17 Jun 2019

* All eyes on Fed, BOJ, BOE meetings this week * Investors await cues from China, HK given political tensions - analyst * Philippines weakens most, industrials weigh By Devika Syamnath June 17 Most Southeast Asian stock markets trod water on Monday as market participants stayed on the sidelines ahead of a slew of central bank policy meetings, while political tensions in Hong Kong and the Middle East kept risk appetite in check. The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank Of Japan and the Bank of England are meeting this week as the case for rate cuts intensifies amid a prolonged U.S.-China trade dispute that has dampened growth prospects and sparked fears of a recession. "Everyone is waiting to see if the central banks can actually be more dovish on interest rates to support markets, considering there's a lot of downside risk coming in from the trade wars," said Joanne Goh, an equity strategist with DBS Bank Ltd in Singapore. Meanwhile, activist Joshua Wong, who has become the face of Hong Kong's push for full democracy, walked free from prison on Monday and vowed to join a mass protest movement demanding that the city's Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, steps down. Considering the political developments in Hong Kong over the weekend, investors are waiting to see how the China and Hong Kong markets behave before making any moves, Goh added. Adding to the bleak geopolitical landscape, tensions ratcheted in the Middle East after the United States blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. Philippine shares fell the most among Southeast Asian markets, declining as much as 0.7% to their weakest in over one week. Industrials accounted for most of the fall, with JG Summit Holdings down as much as 2.6%. Banks also dropped with BDO Unibank Inc declining as much as 1.2%. "You would have thought it (Philippine market) is resilient, with domestic demand and strong GDP growth above 6%... but against slowing growth and unresolved U.S.-China trade war, it still remains to be seen if the Philippines can be that resilient in terms of economic growth," said Goh. Singapore and Indonesia were also weaker on the day, down 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. Singaporean conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings lost as much as 2.4% to a two-week low and led losers in the benchmark stock index. In Indonesia, Charoen Pokphand Indonesia was among the top losers, down as much as 5.7%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0420 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3220.52 3222.63 -0.07 Bangkok 1674.39 1672.33 0.12 Manila 7934.12 7990.2 -0.70 Jakarta 6236.853 6250.265 -0.21 Kuala Lumpur 1640.15 1638.63 0.09 Ho Chi Minh 945.27 953.61 -0.87 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3220.52 3068.76 4.95 Bangkok 1674.39 1563.88 7.07 Manila 7934.12 7,466.02 6.27 Jakarta 6236.853 6,194.50 0.68 Kuala Lumpur 1640.15 1690.58 -2.98 Ho Chi Minh 945.27 892.54 5.91 (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Australia's Wesfarmers buying online retailer Catch in e-commerce push

12 Jun 2019

Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers is buying e-commerce retailer Catch Group for about $160 million to boost the small online footprint of its retail units such as Kmart and Target amid a big shift by domestic shoppers to the web.

Australian, NZ shares higher as traders eye global rate cuts

07 Jun 2019

June 7 Australian shares rose for a fourth straight session on Friday, led by resource stocks as investors shrugged off trade war concerns and focused on the prospects of looser monetary policy at home and abroad.

Australian shares extend gains as global easy money hopes boost sentiment

07 Jun 2019

June 7 Australian shares advanced for the fourth session on Friday as this week's domestic rate cut and expectations global central banks will open the money spigot underpinned sentiment, boosting cyclicals and firms offering strong dividend yields.

CORRECTED-Australian shares rise for third day as rate cut spurs banks

06 Jun 2019

June 6 Australian shares rose for a third straight day on Thursday, with banks gaining sharply on expectations that this week's central bank rate cut and other easing measures could stimulate the cooling economy and boost lending.

Banks lead Australian shares higher on policy stimulus, NZ rises

06 Jun 2019

* Santos, Carnarvon higher as major oil and gas resource confirmed

Australian shares follow global peers higher after dovish Fed comments

05 Jun 2019

June 5 Australian shares finished higher on Wednesday, in line with the rally in global stocks after comments from the U.S. central bank provided firm clues it was closer to cutting interest rates, supporting investor confidence.

Australian, NZ shares gain as dovish Fed bolsters confidence

05 Jun 2019

June 5 Australian shares rose on Wednesday with most sectors higher, following global market cheer after the U.S. central bank provided markets with a clear indication that it was moving towards a rate cut.

Australia shares end slightly firmer aided by banks, miners

04 Jun 2019

* ANZ to cut mortgage rates by 18 bps vs 25 bps policy cash rate cut

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