August 22, 2019 / 4:41 AM / 4 months ago

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

    * Bank Indonesia likely to keep rates on hold at 5.75% -
    * U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech due late Friday 
    * Philippine stocks drop 1.5% 

    By Niyati Shetty
    Aug 22 (Reuters) - 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
    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
    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
    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
    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;  

 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)
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