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Niyati Shetty

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore falls as core inflation outlook lowered

23 Aug 2019

* Singapore core inflation rises at slowest rate since April 2016 * Philippines adds 1.2% for week, snaps 4 weeks of declines * Vietnam snaps 7 weeks of gains By Niyati Shetty Aug 23 Singapore stocks declined on Friday as authorities trimmed full-year inflation forecast towards the lower half of their guidance range, while last-minute buying in blue chips saw Philippine shares reverse course to end higher. The city state's core inflation eased to its slowest pace in more than three years in July, in further evidence of weakened economic condition. Singapore shares fell 0.6% for the day, with Hutchison Port Holdings Trust and Hongkong Land Holdings retreating 5.7% and 2.3%, respectively. The benchmark stock index was down nearly 1.8% for the week. Meanwhile, uncertainty about how much further the U.S. Federal Reserve would cut interest rates also rattled investors who keenly await Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at a gathering of policymakers later in the day. Thai stocks ended 0.8% higher and were the top performer in Southeast Asia, with nearly all sectors closing higher. Communication and industrial stocks largely underpinned gains, with telecom company Total Access Communication Pcl adding 4.6%. Vietnam shares snapped seven sessions of gains on Friday but gained 1.3% for the week. Philippine equities closed 0.5% higher, bouncing back from a 0.5% drop earlier, due to a spurt in buying of large caps including JG Summit Holdings, SM Investments Corp and Ayala Corp just few minutes before close. Shares of JG Summit jumped 3% in the last 15 minutes of trade to end up 1.9%. The Manila stock index ended four weeks of declines and added 1.2% this week. Philippine financial markets are closed on Monday for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3110.35 3127.74 -0.56 Bangkok 1646.68 1633.56 0.80 Manila 7889.41 7848.83 0.52 Jakarta 6255.597 6239.245 0.26 Kuala Lumpur 1609.33 1602.47 0.43 Ho Chi Minh 992.45 997.26 -0.48 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3110.35 3068.76 1.36 Bangkok 1646.68 1563.88 5.29 Manila 7889.41 7,466.02 5.67 Jakarta 6255.597 6,194.50 0.99 Kuala Lumpur 1609.33 1690.58 -4.81 Ho Chi Minh 992.45 892.54 11.19 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Most decline; markets await clues from Powell speech

23 Aug 2019

* Markets await U.S. Fed Chair Powell's speech due late Friday * Philippine set to fall for a third straight session * Singapore core inflation seen slowing to near 3-yr low - poll By Niyati Shetty Aug 23 Most Southeast Asian stock markets dropped on Friday as investors kept to the sidelines amid uncertainty over the outlook of U.S. interest rates, while fears of a global economic slowdown persisted. The U.S. Federal Reserve has come under increasing pressure to cut borrowing costs more, including a call by President Donald Trump on Wednesday for the central bank to reduce its benchmark rate. With U.S. bond markets signalling a looming recession, markets are also eagerly awaiting a speech by Fed chair, Jerome Powell, who is due to speak at a gathering of global policymakers later in the day. "The rhetoric from a few regional Fed Presidents yesterday (Thursday) underscored the divided tone within the Fed and reinforced market view that there is no pre-set path for more rate cuts," OCBC Bank said in note. Philippine stocks declined to a more than one-week low, with real estate firms weighing on the index for a second session after China urged the Manila government to ban online gaming and support its crackdown on cross-border gambling. Conglomerate Alliance Global Group, casino hotels operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp and property firm Ayala Land were among the top laggards, retreating as much as 4.5%, 3.1% and 1.7%, respectively. Singapore equities dropped ahead of the city-state's inflation data, with conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings slipping up to 1.2% and Singapore Technologies Engineering losing 1.7%. The country's core inflation is seen easing to its slowest pace in nearly three years, a Reuters poll showed, shoring up expectations that the local central bank will loosen policy later this year to boost the economy. The Jakarta index was little changed a day after Bank Indonesia unexpectedly trimmed key interest rates by 25 basis points for a second straight month, a pre-emptive move in anticipation of a flagging global economy. Bucking the trend, the Thai index advanced up to 0.6%, and was slated to post gains of 0.4% for the week. Airports of Thailand added 0.7% and PTT PCL climbed 1.2%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0330 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3118.06 3127.74 -0.31 Bangkok 1639.22 1633.56 0.35 Manila 7776.29 7848.83 -0.92 Jakarta 6235.901 6239.245 -0.05 Kuala Lumpur 1601.51 1602.47 -0.06 Ho Chi Minh 995.58 997.26 -0.17 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3118.06 3068.76 1.61 Bangkok 1639.22 1563.88 4.82 Manila 7776.29 7,466.02 4.16 Jakarta 6235.901 6,194.50 0.67 Kuala Lumpur 1601.51 1690.58 -5.27 Ho Chi Minh 995.58 892.54 11.54 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia cuts losses after surprise rate trim

22 Aug 2019

* Bank Indonesia cuts key rates by 25 bps to 5.50% * Philippines weighed down by property stocks * Singapore July inflation data due on Friday By Niyati Shetty Aug 22 Indonesian stocks cut losses to close slightly lower on Thursday as a surprise interest rate reduction by the central bank calmed investors worried about a possible economic slowdown, while Philippine shares extended falls to their lowest close in nearly a week. Bank Indonesia (BI) cut key rates for a second month in a row, this time by 25 basis points to 5.5%, saying it was acting pre-emptively in anticipation of a global economic slowdown. The central bank said it would continue with an "accommodative policy mix", but ING senior economist Nicholas Mapa said he expected "BI to monitor closely the next moves of the U.S. Federal Reserve as well as the stability of rupiah before seriously considering further rate cuts in the near term". The key Jakarta stock index recovered from early falls to trade in positive territory after the rate-cut news, before ending down 0.2%. Materials and telecom stocks weighed the most, with Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk PT slipping 2.4% and Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT falling 0.5%. Broader Asia was also down as investors looked at central banks in hopes for stimulus to shore up economic growth, while uncertainty over the outlook for U.S. interest rate cuts lingered. Minutes of the Fed's July meeting released on Wednesday showed deep splits among policymakers over whether to cut interest rates last month, raising the stakes for Chair Jerome Powell's speech at a gathering of global policymakers on Friday. Philippine stocks declined for a second straight session, dragged by property stocks as China urged the country to ban online gaming after welcoming its move to stop accepting applications for online gaming licences. Office landlords with significant exposure to Philippine offshore gaming operators, including Megaworld Corp, D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, and Filinvest Land were heavily sold down by investors, RCBC Securities said in a note. Megaworld slumped 8.5% and DMW fell 4.6%. Malaysian stocks rose 0.5%, with IOI Corp Bhd adding 1.7% and Misc Bhd gaining 1%. Singapore equities edged higher ahead of July inflation data due on Friday. Core inflation likely eased to its slowest pace in nearly three years last month, a Reuters poll showed, reinforcing hopes that the central bank would loosen policy later this year. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd rose 1.6% and conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings added 1.4%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3127.74 3122.57 0.17 Bangkok 1633.56 1638.24 -0.29 Manila 7848.83 7886.91 -0.48 Jakarta 6239.245 6252.967 -0.22 Kuala Lumpur 1602.47 1594.59 0.49 Ho Chi Minh 997.26 994.38 0.29 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3127.74 3068.76 1.92 Bangkok 1633.56 1563.88 4.46 Manila 7848.83 7,466.02 5.13 Jakarta 6239.245 6,194.50 0.72 Kuala Lumpur 1602.47 1690.58 -5.21 Ho Chi Minh 997.26 892.54 11.73 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia slips as market awaits c.bank stance; Singapore, Malaysia gain

22 Aug 2019

* Bank Indonesia likely to keep rates on hold at 5.75% - poll * U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech due late Friday * Philippine stocks drop 1.5% By Niyati Shetty Aug 22 The Indonesian index retreated on Thursday as investors kept a cautious stance and waited for central bank's clues on further rate cuts, while Singapore and Malaysian stocks edged up ahead of a key gathering of global policymakers. Traders expect that the U.S. Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole symposium and a Group of Seven summit this weekend will shed light on the next steps policymakers will take to support economic growth. Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed that nearly all analysts believe Bank Indonesia (BI) will keep its key rate unchanged at 5.75% after a 25 basis point cut in July. "At the end of the day it is a situation that there is something wrong with the economy, but how are we going to fix this," said Taye Shim, head of research, Mirae Asset Sekuritas. The recent easing spree from regional central banks and disappointing local economic data could prompt a surprise rate cut from the BI. The Indonesian index extended declines with Telekomunikasi Indonesia dropping 1.8% and Bank Central Asia slipping 0.9%. "It is imperative for central banks across the globe to push down the rates," added Shim, who thinks the BI will cut rates in its policy meeting later in the day. An index of Jakarta's 45 most liquid stocks fell 0.7%. Singapore shares recovered from previous session's losses to trade marginally higher, with industrials supporting the index. Conglomerates Jardine Matheson Holdings added 2.2% and Jardine Strategic Holdings rose 1.3%. After minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day session in July was released on Wednesday showed policymakers deeply divided over whether to cut interest rates, markets eagerly await Chair Jerome Powell's speech for more clarity. However, Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA warned that, "with positioning in equities, bonds and energy all heavily weighted to a (dovish) outcome, the resulting correction from a lack of Powell love, could be both ugly and emotional." Financial and industrial sectors supported the Malaysian equities, with RHB Bank Bhd advancing 1.5% and Misc Bhd rising 1.4%. Philippine shares slumped for a second straight session as index heavyweights SM Prime Holdings dropped 2.9% and Megaworld Corp slipped 8.3%. The Philippine stock market was closed for a holiday on Wednesday. Elsewhere, Thai stocks retreated a session after it clocked significant gains, following a surprise rise in July exports as gold shipments surged. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0428 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3126.11 3122.57 0.11 Bangkok 1633.63 1638.24 -0.28 Manila 7772.71 7886.91 -1.45 Jakarta 6227.719 6252.967 -0.40 Kuala Lumpur 1597.92 1594.59 0.21 Ho Chi Minh 994.91 994.38 0.05 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3126.11 3068.76 1.87 Bangkok 1633.63 1563.88 4.46 Manila 7772.71 7,466.02 4.11 Jakarta 6227.719 6,194.50 0.54 Kuala Lumpur 1597.92 1690.58 -5.48 Ho Chi Minh 994.91 892.54 11.47 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as focus turns to Fed

21 Aug 2019

* Indonesia down ahead of cenbank meeting on Thurs * Thailand gains on surprise rise in July exports * Philippine markets closed for a holiday By Niyati Shetty Aug 21 Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Wednesday as investors anxiously awaited a couple of U.S. Federal Reserve events for clues on further rate cuts, while Thai shares gained on strong export data. Market participants looked forward to the minutes of the Fed's July meeting due later in the day and the annual Jackson Hole seminar later this week for hints on what additional steps policymakers will take to boost economic growth. Worries of a sharp economic slowdown have compounded as the Sino-U.S. trade war shows no signs of abating. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday a confrontation with China was necessary even if it caused short-term harm to the U.S. economy. Indonesian shares fell 0.7% ahead of a central bank policy meeting on Thursday, with financials accounting for most of the losses. Bank Indonesia is expected to keep key interest rates on hold, a Reuters poll showed, as recent market volatility rooted in worries about global growth will likely delay further cuts on top of the one in July. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT slipped 1.2% and Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT lost 2%. Singapore stocks declined, dragged by financials and industrials. Lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd fell 0.5% and conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd slipped 1.5%. Fitch Ratings said Singapore would be among the Asian developed markets that would be hit the hardest by a sharp economic slowdown in China, given its close trade links with the mainland. Thai stocks gained 0.8% as investors cheered data showing customs-cleared exports unexpectedly rose in July for the first time in five months. The data comes a day after Thailand's finance ministry cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 3.0% from 3.8% projected in April, due to falling exports. Nomura Holdings maintained its 2019 growth guidance at 3.0% and said "the Bank of Thailand will also likely revise its GDP growth forecast" and "follow up with another 25 basis point policy rate cut next month, taking the policy rate to a historical low of 1.25%." Vietnam shares gained, supported by financial and real estate stocks, with Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam adding 4%. The Philippine market was closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3122.57 3135.95 -0.43 Bangkok 1638.24 1625.57 0.78 Jakarta 6252.967 6295.738 -0.68 Kuala Lumpur 1594.59 1602.75 -0.51 Ho Chi Minh 994.38 984.67 0.99 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3122.57 3068.76 1.75 Bangkok 1638.24 1563.88 4.75 Manila 7886.91 7,466.02 5.64 Jakarta 6252.967 6,194.50 0.94 Kuala Lumpur 1594.59 1690.58 -5.68 Ho Chi Minh 994.38 892.54 11.41 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as investors await Fed policy stance

21 Aug 2019

* Singapore down up to 0.6%, snaps 2 sessions of gains * Minutes of July Fed meet due later on Wednesday * Thai shares gain after July exports rise unexpectedly By Niyati Shetty Aug 21 Most Southeast Asian markets fell on Wednesday, with Singapore leading declines, as investors waited for minutes of U.S. central bank's July meeting. The markets look forward to hints about any further monetary policy easing, following global recession fears that dampened risk sentiment last week. "Asian markets may see some retracement today (Wednesday) amid some modest profit-taking" ahead of the Fed's July minutes due later in the day and Chair Jerome Powell's speech on Friday, OCBC Bank said in a note to clients. Singapore stocks declined after two sessions of gains, with financial and industrial sectors weighing on the index. Jardine Strategic Holdings fell 2% and United Overseas Bank slipped 1.1%. Indonesian equities declined as financials took a toll. Lenders Bank Mega Tbk PT and Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT slumped 8.1% and 1.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, the Thai bourse climbed after data on Wednesday showed custom-cleared annual exports rose 4.28% in July from a year ago, contrary to a 2.3% drop expected in a Reuters poll. The data comes a day after Thailand's finance ministry cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 3.0% from the 3.8% it projected in April, due to falling exports. Oil & gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production added 1.7%, while trading firm Berli Jucker rose 3.8%. Vietnam stocks were poised to gain for a sixth straight session. Philippine markets were closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0444 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3119.84 3135.95 -0.51 Bangkok 1634.25 1625.57 0.53 Jakarta 6262.59 6295.738 -0.53 Kuala Lumpur 1599.66 1602.75 -0.19 Ho Chi Minh 990.89 984.67 0.63 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3119.84 3068.76 1.66 Bangkok 1634.25 1563.88 4.50 Manila 7886.91 7,466.02 5.64 Jakarta 6262.59 6,194.50 1.10 Kuala Lumpur 1599.66 1690.58 -5.38 Ho Chi Minh 990.89 892.54 11.02 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore, Malaysia gain in line with broader Asia; Thailand down

20 Aug 2019

* Thailand cuts 2019 growth forecast to 3% from 3.8% * Thai customs-cleared trade data for July due on Wed * Malaysia hits over 1-week closing high By Niyati Shetty Aug 20 Singapore and Malaysian stocks rose on Tuesday, in line with broader Asia as stimulus proposals in major economies muted recession fears, while Thai shares retreated as the government cut its 2019 economic growth forecast. Hopes gathered momentum that global policymakers would introduce further stimulus to prevent a sharp economic slowdown, after countries including China and Germany proposed steps to prop up flagging economies. Market participants, however, kept a cautious stance ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's July meeting and Chair Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium this week. Singapore shares hit one-week highs, boosted by real estate firms. CapitaLand Ltd gained 2% and Hongkong Land Holdings added 1.6%. Malaysian shares rose to more than one-week closing highs, with lender CIMB Group Holdings gaining 2.8% while telecom firm Axiata Group added 0.8%. Vietnam stocks gained for the fifth straight session, with real estate developer Vinhomes JSC jumping 3%. Thai shares reversed course to close 0.7% lower as the finance ministry cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 3% from 3.8% projected in April, due to falling exports. Thailand's customs-cleared trade data is due on Wednesday, with annual exports seen falling 2.3% in July after a 2.15% drop in the prior month, according to a Reuters poll. Philippine equities shed 0.7%, with fast food chain Jollibee Foods Corp declining nearly 4% while snack and beverage maker Universal Robina Corp slipped 2.6%. "Investors took profits from yesterday's (Monday) run-up, sending the bellwether index down," RCBC Securities said in a note. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3135.95 3128.45 0.24 Bangkok 1625.57 1637.26 -0.71 Manila 7886.91 7938.35 -0.65 Jakarta 6295.738 6296.715 -0.02 Kuala Lumpur 1602.75 1596.45 0.39 Ho Chi Minh 984.67 981.03 0.37 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3135.95 3068.76 2.19 Bangkok 1625.57 1563.88 3.94 Manila 7886.91 7,466.02 5.64 Jakarta 6295.738 6,194.50 1.63 Kuala Lumpur 1602.75 1690.58 -5.20 Ho Chi Minh 984.67 892.54 10.32 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

CORRECTED-SE Asia Stocks-Most rise as China rate reforms boost sentiment (Aug 19)

20 Aug 2019

(Corrects last paragraph in Aug 19 report to say Fitch Solutions, not Fitch Ratings) * Philippine shares gain most, up 1.8% * Thai stocks rise on fiscal stimulus hopes * Fitch raises 2019 growth forecast for Malaysia By Niyati Shetty Aug 19 Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Monday as investors cheered interest rate reforms by China's central bank, with Philippine shares adding nearly 2%. The People's Bank of China said on Saturday it would improve the mechanism used to establish the loan prime rate from this month, in a move to further lower real interest rates for companies as part of broader market reforms. Analysts say the move underscores the government's attempts to use reforms to support an economy that has been hit hard by a bruising trade war with the United States. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve is back in focus this week as investors await the minutes of its July meeting and Chair Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium, to get further clarity on the central bank's policy stance. Leading the gains in Southeast Asia on Monday, Philippine shares jumped to a more than two-week closing high. Packaged food maker Universal Robina Corp gained 6.5%, while conglomerate JG Summit Holdings rose 6.1%. "Investors are calm compared to last week when there was a deluge of negative events," said Rachelle C Cruz, an analyst with AP Securities. Singapore stocks rose 0.4%, with agribusiness firm Wilmar International adding 2.7%, while real estate firm Hongkong Land Holdings advanced 1.6%. Thai shares eked out gains even as the government cut it 2019 growth forecast after data showed the economy expanded at its slowest pace in nearly five years in the second quarter. Investors were optimistic that a planned $10 billion stimulus package announced on Friday would provide some support to the slackening economy. "All eyes are now on the government's announcement of the fiscal stimulus package," ING said in a note, adding that "it needs to be seen how quickly this stimulus gets off the ground to kick-start the economy over the remainder of the year". Energy and industrial stocks were the top gainers, with oil & gas firm PTT PCL and Airports of Thailand adding 1.2% and 1.4%, respectively. Vietnam and Indonesian shares closed marginally higher, while Malaysian stocks retreated slightly. Fitch Solutions on Monday raised its 2019 growth forecast for Malaysia after the country reported stronger-than-expected growth for the first half, but flagged intense pressure from exports over the coming quarters. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3128.45 3115.03 0.43 Bangkok 1637.26 1631.4 0.36 Manila 7938.35 7795.98 1.83 Jakarta 6296.715 6286.657 0.16 Kuala Lumpur 1596.45 1599.22 -0.17 Ho Chi Minh 981.03 980 0.11 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3128.45 3068.76 1.95 Bangkok 1637.26 1563.88 4.69 Manila 7938.35 7,466.02 6.33 Jakarta 6296.715 6,194.50 1.65 Kuala Lumpur 1596.45 1690.58 -5.57 Ho Chi Minh 981.03 892.54 9.91 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Most climb as stimulus boost eases recession fears

20 Aug 2019

* Singapore shares hit their highest in a week * Investors await minutes of Fed July meet due on Wednesday * Philippine stocks down 1.2% By Niyati Shetty Aug 20 Most Southeast Asian stock markets eked out gains on Tuesday as global policymakers step in to support their economies, in a bid to stave off a sharp economic slowdown, boosting riskier assets. Sentiment got a lift after China took steps to lower borrowing costs for companies and Germany hinted plans of ramping up government spending to counter a future crisis. The Washington Post on Monday reported that senior White House officials are discussing the possibility of a temporary payroll tax cut to boost the U.S. economy, reinforcing hopes that major economies will step in to ensure growth. The Singapore bourse extended gains to its highest in a week, boosted by real estate stocks. Capitaland Ltd and Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd were among the top gainers in the index, rising 1.7% and 2.3%, respectively. Hongkong Land is "among stocks that have underperformed the broader market but are now offering attractive buying opportunities due to their undemanding valuations," KGI Securities (Singapore) said in a note to clients. Gains in the regional markets, however, were capped as investors kept a cautious stance awaiting Wednesday's release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's July meeting. Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech at the end of the week might provide further insight on the central bank's policy stance. The Thai benchmark gained despite the central bank saying it would lower its 2019 growth forecast of 3.3% amid growing risks, as investors anticipate the proposed $10 billion stimulus package to boost economic growth. Malaysian equities advanced up to 0.3%, while the Vietnam index was poised to extend gains to a fifth straight session. Bucking the trend, Philippine stocks declined up to 1.2% after clocking gains in the previous session. "The decline is just a normalisation of the swing that we saw late yesterday (Monday)," said Charles William Ang, analyst, COL Financial Group. "If we consider the bigger picture we might just be in line with the regional markets." Losses in financial and consumer sectors pulled down the Philippine index, with Security Bank Corp falling up to 3% and Universal Robina Corp retreating 4.2%. Meanwhile, Indonesian stocks traded largely unchanged. The archipelago's finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Monday she wants to reduce foreigners' holdings of government bonds over the near-term to 20% from almost 40% currently, to reduce volatility in the financial markets. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0349 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3138.45 3128.45 0.32 Bangkok 1639.1 1637.26 0.11 Manila 7848.64 7938.35 -1.13 Jakarta 6300.567 6296.715 0.06 Kuala Lumpur 1599.83 1596.45 0.21 Ho Chi Minh 983.06 981.03 0.21 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3138.45 3068.76 2.27 Bangkok 1639.1 1563.88 4.81 Manila 7848.64 7,466.02 5.12 Jakarta 6300.567 6,194.50 1.71 Kuala Lumpur 1599.83 1690.58 -5.37 Ho Chi Minh 983.06 892.54 10.14 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain as global stimulus hopes lift risk sentiment

19 Aug 2019

* China, Germany, Thailand line up policies to spur growth * Indonesian shares hit over two-week high * Thai stocks gain despite Q2 GDP growth slowest in nearly 5 years By Niyati Shetty Aug 19 Most Southeast Asian stock markets gained on Monday, as hopes that central banks around the world would unleash new stimulus to boost growth eased concerns over a global recession. Such hopes found support from the Chinese central bank's interest rate reforms over the weekend, seen lowering corporate borrowing costs, and reports of new fiscal stimulus in Germany. The Sino-U.S. trade dispute has dampened growth in Southeast Asian economies, and any policy support by the region's major trading partner - China - to shore up domestic demand will help bring buyers back to the equities market. Singapore stocks clawed back ground from previous session's losses, supported by financials. Lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd added 0.8%, while peer United Overseas Bank Ltd gained 0.4%. Asian markets may gain "on optimism that German if not Eurozone policy stimulus could be forthcoming," OCBC Bank said in a note, adding that, "Singapore may trade firmer between a 3,100-3,150 range amid positive Friday cues from Wall Street." The Indonesian benchmark index advanced to touch its highest in more than two weeks, buoyed by gains in consumer and financial stocks. Instant noodles maker Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur rose as much as 4.3%, while the Bank Central Asia added 1.2%. The archipelago's president on Friday proposed $178 billion budget for 2020, that targeted a slightly optimistic gross domestic product growth of 5.3% for the year. Also soothing markets, U.S. President Donald Trump and top White House officials on Sunday dismissed economic growth concerns, saying they saw little risk of recession. Investors were rattled last week after signals from the bond market sparked fears of a sharp global slowdown. Thai equities gained 0.8% even as government data on Monday showed the trade-dependent economy grew at its slowest annual pace in almost five years in the second quarter on lower exports and soft domestic demand. The country's finance minister on Friday, however, said Thailand was planning a $10 billion stimulus package to shore up the slackening economy. The financial and energy sectors supported Thai shares, with Siam Commercial Bank PCL and conglomerate PTT PCL adding 2.8% and 1.2%, respectively. The Philippine index and Vietnam shares traded marginally higher, while Malaysian stocks edged down. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0410 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3131.98 3115.03 0.54 Bangkok 1637.71 1631.4 0.39 Manila 7813.03 7795.98 0.22 Jakarta 6306.832 6286.657 0.32 Kuala Lumpur 1597.97 1599.22 -0.08 Ho Chi Minh 981.84 980 0.19 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3131.98 3068.76 2.06 Bangkok 1637.71 1563.88 4.72 Manila 7813.03 7,466.02 4.65 Jakarta 6306.832 6,194.50 1.81 Kuala Lumpur 1597.97 1690.58 -5.48 Ho Chi Minh 981.84 892.54 10.01 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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