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Rashmi Ashok

SE Asia Stocks-Most close higher as Fed comments feed risk appetite

11:11am BST

* U.S. Fed signals possible interest rate cuts in July * Indonesia and Philippine cenbanks stand pat on interest rates * Central banks say sufficient cause to ease in near future By Rashmi Ashok June 20 Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended firmer on Thursday, as dovish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve boosted global equities, while regional central banks flagged similar moves toward looser monetary settings. The Fed on Wednesday signalled interest rate cuts beginning as early as July, saying it was ready to battle growing global and domestic economic risks, in a marked shift in tone since its last policy meeting. The commentary was widely seen as more dovish than expected, sending global stocks higher. Singapore shares, which were among the top boost in the region, extended gains into a third session. The city-state was buoyed by blue-chip stocks such as DBS Group Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings. Leading the gains in the region, Vietnam shares closed 1% firmer. Financials largely powered the index, with Vietnam Technological And Commercial Joint Stock Bank adding 2.5%. Thai stocks ended 0.7% higher, underpinned by gains in energy shares, which soared after rising tensions in the Middle East sent oil prices spiking. PTT PCL climbed 1.6%, while PTT Exploration and Production PCL ended at its highest since April 26. Meanwhile, the Philippine central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady on Thursday, but left the door open to further policy easing as global risks to growth increases and as policymakers expect inflation to slow more than previously expected. Philippine stocks clawed back from early losses to end little changed ahead of the central bank's announcement. Indonesian stocks rebounded from early losses to settle flat after Bank Indonesia decided to keep its policy interest rate unchanged, but moved to cut the reserve requirement for banks for the time being. Malaysian stocks ended higher, with electricity utility provider Tenaga Nasional being the top gainer, while tourist resort operator Genting Malaysia closed up 1.2%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3314.51 3288.17 0.80 Bangkok 1717.82 1705.98 0.69 Manila 8022.42 8017.01 0.07 Jakarta 6335.698 6339.262 -0.06 Kuala Lumpur 1675.43 1666.54 0.53 Ho Chi Minh 959.18 949.69 1.00 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3314.51 3068.76 8.01 Bangkok 1717.82 1563.88 9.84 Manila 8022.42 7,466.02 7.45 Jakarta 6335.698 6,194.50 2.28 Kuala Lumpur 1675.43 1690.58 -0.90 Ho Chi Minh 959.18 892.54 7.47 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most gain as Fed hints at rate cuts; Philippines slips

5:02am BST

* Philippine, Indonesian cenbank decisions due later * Asian central banks expected to follow Fed's stance By Rashmi Ashok June 20 Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged higher on Thursday, as dovish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve boosted global equities, while signs that Sino-U.S. trade talks were set to resume also helped sentiment. The Fed on Wednesday signalled interest rate cuts beginning as early as July, saying it was ready to battle growing global and domestic economic risks, in a marked shift in tone since its last policy meeting. The commentary was widely seen as more dovish than expected, sending global stocks higher. Singapore shares were the top performers in Southeast Asia, heading for a fifth winning session in six. Lender DBS Group Holdings was among the top gainers, up 1.5%. Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam notched modest gains. Meanwhile, market participants keenly await policy decisions from the Philippine and Indonesian central banks due later in the day. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is expected cut benchmark rates for the second meeting in a row, though a Reuters poll suggested it would be a close call as policymakers try to strike a balance between supporting growth and curbing inflation pressures. "After cutting (rates by) 25 bps (basis points) in May, the main uncertainty now is how patient BSP will be in allowing for impact of the latest rate cut to materialize and we think that another rate cut this week can't be ruled out," analysts at Mizuho Bank said in a note. Philippine stocks slipped in thin trade as investors adopted a wait-and-watch stance ahead of the central bank's rate decision. Volumes were at a small fraction of their 30-day average. Large-cap industrial stocks accounted for most of the losses, with conglomerates SM Investments Corp and JG Summit Holdings declining 1.9% and 2.1%, respectively. Indonesian stocks inched lower after adding 2.4% in the previous two sessions. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0307 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3311.11 3288.17 0.70 Bangkok 1710.84 1705.98 0.28 Manila 7975.83 8017.01 -0.51 Jakarta 6331.927 6339.262 -0.12 Kuala Lumpur 1668.98 1666.54 0.15 Ho Chi Minh 950.61 949.69 0.10 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3311.11 3068.76 7.90 Bangkok 1710.84 1563.88 9.40 Manila 7975.83 7,466.02 6.83 Jakarta 6331.927 6,194.50 2.22 Kuala Lumpur 1668.98 1690.58 -1.28 Ho Chi Minh 950.61 892.54 6.51 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-End higher on hopes of central banks' stimulus boost

19 Jun 2019

* All eyes on Indonesia and Philippines cenbank meetings * Expect both cenbanks to enact "dovish pause" - ING analysts * Singapore leads gains, Thailand closes at eight-month high By Rashmi Ashok June 19 Southeast Asian stocks closed firmer on Wednesday as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's comments indicating the possibility of fresh rate cuts fuelled hopes of a worldwide wave of central bank stimulus. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to release a statement later in the day around 1800 GMT, while Philippines and Indonesia's central banks are set to meet on Thursday to review monetary policy. Mario Draghi said on Tuesday the European Central Bank will ease policy again if inflation fails to accelerate, sparking hopes that the U.S. Fed would also follow suit. "With increased odds of the Fed easing, we don't think Asian central banks will resist easing pressure for too long," ING analysts said in a note. Analysts, however, expect the central banks of Indonesia and Philippines to hold steady and enact a "dovish pause", awaiting further data before making any big moves. Sentiment was also supported by U.S. President Donald Trump's confirmation that he would meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan later this month, indicating that trade talks between the two countries would restart after a long lull. Leading the gains in the region, Singapore stocks jumped 1.5% to their best closing level since May 10. Large caps were the biggest boost, with lenders DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank adding 2.5% and 2.1% to the index, respectively. Thai stocks rose 1.3% to hit their highest close in eight months. Industrials and energy stocks lifted the index, with Airports of Thailand PCL and PTT PCL closing up 8.1% and 1.1%, respectively. Indonesian shares ended 1.3% firmer, with material and financial stocks dominating the gains. Bank Danamon Indonesia Tbk gained 8.3%, after marking its best session in nearly a year. The Malaysian index extended gains, buoyed by Malaysia Airports Holdings, while agriculture and food processor Sime Darby Plantation ended 3.7% higher. Philippine stocks were supported by strength in industrials, while Vietnam's index was propelled by heavyweight property stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3288.17 3238.73 1.53 Bangkok 1705.98 1683.6 1.33 Manila 8017.01 7922.04 1.20 Jakarta 6339.262 6257.33 1.31 Kuala Lumpur 1666.54 1652.76 0.83 Ho Chi Minh 949.69 944.01 0.60 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3288.17 3068.76 7.15 Bangkok 1705.98 1563.88 9.09 Manila 8017.01 7,466.02 7.38 Jakarta 6339.262 6,194.50 2.34 Kuala Lumpur 1666.54 1690.58 -1.42 Ho Chi Minh 949.69 892.54 6.40 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

REFILE-SE Asia Stocks-Rise as rate-cut hopes build up

19 Jun 2019

(Corrects day of the week to Wednesday from Thursday) * Investors hope Fed may follow ECB chief Draghi's easing tilt * Focus on Philippine, Indonesia cenbank decisions on Thursday * Singapore jumps to near 6-week peak, Malaysia near 3-month high By Rashmi Ashok June 19 Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday as comments by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi indicating the possibility of fresh rate cuts or asset purchases fuelled talks of a worldwide wave of central bank stimulus. Markets got an extra boost when U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed that he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit later this month, and said talks between the two countries would restart after a recent lull. "Dovish ECB and positive headway on trade war may spur bargain hunting in Asia today. However, gains will likely be capped with the market still waiting on the Fed," ING said in a note. Market participants now hope the U.S. Federal Reserve would follow the ECB and open the door to future rate cuts. The Fed is scheduled to release a statement at 1800 GMT on Wednesday, followed by a press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell. The Philippine and Indonesian central banks are set to meet on Thursday to review monetary policy. "With increased odds of the Fed easing, we don't think Asian central banks will resist easing pressure for too long... We now see most Asian central banks riding a wave of easing by the next quarter," ING said. Singapore stocks surged as much as 1.5% to a near six-week high, with large caps gaining the most. Lenders DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank packed on 3.1% and 2.1%, respectively. Indonesian shares climbed for a second straight session with telecom and financial stocks dominating gains. Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk added 2.3%. Malaysian stocks hit a near three-month high, with top gainer Malaysia Airports Holdings advancing as much as 6.7%. Electric utility Tenaga Nasional rose 1.5%. Philippine shares edged higher, backed largely by real estate stocks. Conglomerate Ayala Land rose 1.7%, while property developer SM Prime Holdings added 1.2%. Vietnam shares jumped on the back of financial and real estate stocks, while Thailand found support from heavyweight energy stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0301 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3285.88 3238.73 1.46 Bangkok 1695.84 1683.6 0.73 Manila 7948.39 7922.04 0.33 Jakarta 6307.311 6257.33 0.80 Kuala Lumpur 1661.81 1652.76 0.55 Ho Chi Minh 948.54 944.01 0.48 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3285.88 3068.76 7.08 Bangkok 1695.84 1563.88 8.44 Manila 7948.39 7,466.02 6.46 Jakarta 6307.311 6,194.50 1.82 Kuala Lumpur 1661.81 1690.58 -1.70 Ho Chi Minh 948.54 892.54 6.27 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Most end firmer in cautious trade; investors await Fed outcome

18 Jun 2019

* Singapore rebounds 1%, hits highest close in over a month * Indonesia posts technical rebound, snaps four sessions of losses * Investors remain cautious ahead of Fed interest rate decision By Rashmi Ashok June 18 Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed higher on Tuesday, but gains were capped as investors kept a cautious stance ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting set to begin later in the day. Despite fresh demands by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut interest rates, the Fed is expected to keep rates steady this time while laying the groundwork for a rate cut later this year. "Mood in Asia will likely remain cautious with investors awaiting the Fed meeting and possible adjustments to the dot plots before taking on substantial bets," ING said in a note. While weak economic data dragged Singapore's index lower in the previous session, expectations of a potential monetary easing in October lifted sentiment on Tuesday. The city-state's main index rebounded to end nearly 1% firmer, hitting its highest close in more than a month. "Singapore stocks are probably taking their cue from regional markets. The Hang Seng is trading higher as news about the protests over the weekend somewhat died down," said Liu Jinshu, director of research, NRA Capital. "The U.S. markets have stayed near recent highs after a massive run upwards in the first week of June. This has also boosted confidence," he added. In a technical rebound, Indonesian stocks snapped four sessions of declines to end stronger. Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk added 2.1% to the index, while Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk closed 3.3% higher. Malaysian stocks ended higher, with top percentage gainer Axiata Group rising 5.1%, while tourist resort operator Genting Malaysia closed up 1.5%. Thai stocks clawed back from early losses to hit their highest close since October 2018, buoyed by gains in the energy sector. PTT Public Company climbed 2.2%, while PTT Exploration and Production Public Co jumped to its highest close in nearly a month. Bucking the trend, Vietnam's stocks closed 0.3% lower, dogged by consumer and real estate stocks. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3238.73 3207.99 0.96 Bangkok 1683.6 1667.23 0.98 Manila 7922.04 7908.99 0.17 Jakarta 6257.33 6190.525 1.08 Kuala Lumpur 1652.76 1638.4 0.88 Ho Chi Minh 944.01 946.95 -0.31 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3238.73 3068.76 5.54 Bangkok 1683.6 1563.88 7.66 Manila 7922.04 7,466.02 6.11 Jakarta 6257.33 6,194.50 1.01 Kuala Lumpur 1652.76 1690.58 -2.24 Ho Chi Minh 944.01 892.54 5.77 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Tepid ahead of Fed meeting; Singapore recovers

18 Jun 2019

* All eyes on U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate decision * Trading volumes remain low as investors stay on sidelines By Rashmi Ashok June 18 Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded in a tight range on Tuesday as caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting kept investors on the sidelines. The Fed is meeting later in the day amid fresh demands by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut interest rates. However, the central bank is expected to keep rates steady this time while preparing for a rate cut later this year. "With scant data releases and no significant developments on the trade front, the mood in Asia will likely remain cautious," ING said in a note. Investors will wait for possible adjustments to the Fed's dot plots before taking on substantial bets, ING added. Singapore shares rose 0.9%, heading for their first session of gain in three, with conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings adding 1.3% and Venture Corp climbing 1.8%. The market recovered from the previous session's losses as weak data raised expectations of a possible monetary easing in October. Financials were among the top gainers, with lenders such as Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp climbing 0.9%, while DBS Group added 0.7%. Indonesian stocks rebounded from the previous session's near 1% drop. Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk added 1%, while cigarette manufacturer Gudang Garam Tbk advanced 0.8%. "Indonesia retreated for four trading sessions and it's fair to say that this recovery is only a technical rebound. There has not been too much of a pick-up in volume," said Taye Shim, head of research at Mirae Asset Sekuritas. "The central bank's rate decision is expected this week and investors are pretty much sidelined," Shim added. Malaysian stocks edged higher, with telecom company Axiata Group up 1.3%. Vietnamese stocks edged lower, dragged mainly by financials. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0326 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3236.15 3207.99 0.88 Bangkok 1666.9 1667.23 -0.02 Manila 7903.08 7908.99 -0.07 Jakarta 6224.98 6190.525 0.56 Kuala Lumpur 1642.47 1638.4 0.25 Ho Chi Minh 944.26 946.95 -0.28 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3236.15 3068.76 5.45 Bangkok 1666.9 1563.88 6.59 Manila 7903.08 7,466.02 5.85 Jakarta 6224.98 6,194.50 0.49 Kuala Lumpur 1642.47 1690.58 -2.85 Ho Chi Minh 944.26 892.54 5.79 (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Australia, NZ shares slip on worries of long U.S.-China trade war

24 May 2019

* Aussie index on track for best weekly gain since late April

Australia shares slip on rising Sino-U.S. trade tensions, NZ up

23 May 2019

May 23 Australian shares slipped on Thursday, with the mining and financial sectors leading declines, tracking global market moves as trade tensions spiked on reports the United States was considering curbs on a group of Chinese technology companies.

Australia, NZ shares edge up, but trade tensions hold back gains

22 May 2019

* Developers, builders rise on plans to relax home loan rules (Updates to close)

Australia shares off on fears of protracted trade war; NZ edges up

22 May 2019

May 22 Australian shares slipped on Wednesday as investors worried that the lack of progress in talks between the United States and China could signal a protracted trade war and harm the Australian economy.

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