June 6, 2019 / 4:18 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Investors cautious as IMF warning adds to global growth uncertainty

    * Philippine May CPI rises 3.2% y/y, above f'cast
    * Indonesia, Malaysia closed for holidays

    By Niyati Shetty
    June 6 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian markets were flat on
Thursday in lacklustre trade as persistent concerns about global
economic activity and escalating trade wars weigh on investor
sentiment.
    Investors were cautious after the International Monetary
Fund on Wednesday warned that the Sino-U.S. tariffs could cut
2020 global gross domestic product by 0.5%, or about $455
billion.
    The estimate does not include the impact of a looming U.S.
trade war with Mexico, which would further depress global
growth. 
    International trade tensions have ramped up over the last
month as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration rekindled
a bitter trade war with China, and threatened 5% tariffs on
goods from Mexico starting on Monday. 
    The Singapore bourse was marginally lower with index
heavyweights DBS Group Holdings Ltd and Jardine
Strategic Holdings Ltd declining 0.4% and 0.6%,
respectively. 
    Vietnam stocks fell as much as 0.2%, hurt by
utilities and consumer staple shares. Petrovietnam Gas Joint
Stock Corp lost 1.7% and Vietnam Dairy Products
 slipped 0.7%. 
    Thai shares recovered from early falls as losses in
energy stocks offset gains in real estate. Oil and gas firm PTT
PCL lost 0.5% while Land and Houses PCL added
6.4%.
    Losses were limited in the region due to expectations of
monetary policy easing after top U.S. officials moved away from
their "patient" stance and warned that the global tariff dispute
may force them to respond appropriately.
    Philippine equities pared early gains and were flat
at 0338 GMT amid a slowing economy and expectations of lack of
price pressure this year will likely mean further policy easing.
    Data on Wednesday showed, that the country's annual
inflation rate rose 3.2% from a year earlier in May, speeding up
 for the first time in eight months.
    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas chief, however, said the
faster-than-expected inflation is only one data point and "does
not constitute a trend".
    "The central bank appears unfazed by the latest print,
suggesting that more rate cuts would be on the way," ING said in
a note to clients.
   Markets in Indonesia and Malaysia are closed for holidays on
Thursday.   
   
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0338 GMT
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3139.72   3142.37         -0.08
 Bangkok                1648.74   1648.46         0.02
 Manila                 7944.86   7945.37         -0.01
 Ho Chi Minh            949.68    951.41          -0.18
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3139.72   3068.76         2.31
 Bangkok                1648.74   1563.88         5.43
 Manila                 7944.86   7,466.02        6.41
 Ho Chi Minh            949.68    892.54          6.40
 
 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; editing by Bernard
Orr)
  
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