May 2, 2019 / 4:28 AM / in 19 days

SE Asia Stocks-Most dip as Fed fails to deliver 'dovish delight'

    * Indonesia leads losses in SE Asia
    * Singapore shares see worst day in over 5 weeks 
    * Philippines rises after S&P upgrades long-term rating to
"BBB+" 

    By Aditya Soni
    May 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on
Thursday, in line with global equities, after the U.S. Federal
Reserve chairman's remarks cooled expectations of a rate cut,
while Philippines gained after S&P Global upgraded the country's
credit rating. 
    The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday held interest rates
steady and signaled little appetite to adjust them any time
soon, taking heart in continued job gains and economic growth
and the likelihood that weak inflation will edge higher. 
 
    "Chair Powell delivered a not-so-dovish delight for equity
markets," said Stephen Innes, managing partner and head of
trading, SPI Asset Management.
    Global equity markets had seen sharp gains earlier this year
after a dovish Fed turn and on increasing likelihood of a
U.S.-China trade deal.
    "Equity markets were looking for so much more from the Fed,
and were shocked when Chair Powell said the Fed did not see a
convincing case to move rates in either direction," he added. 
    Indonesian stocks dropped 0.8 percent and led losses
in the region as financials faltered. 
    Bank Danamon Indonesia Tbk PT slumped as much as
15 percent to its lowest since March 15, while Bank Negara
Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT dropped 3.1 percent to an
over five-week low. 
    Singapore shares marked their worst session in more
than five weeks, with Southeast Asia's biggest lender DBS Group
Holdings Ltd dragging the city-state's benchmark with
a 2.3 percent slide. 
    Malaysian stocks and Vietnam shares weakened
0.3 percent each. 
    However, Philippines shares gained 0.6 percent after
S&P raised the country's long-term rating to "BBB+" on strong
growth trajectory after market hours on Tuesday.
    Equity markets in Philippines were closed on Wednesday. 
    "This should lift investor sentiment and spur inflows into
Philippine assets," Maybank analysts said in a note. 
    Universal Robina Corp, the biggest boost to the
index, surged up to 6 percent to its highest in more than a
year. The food and beverage company reported a near 3 percent
rise in first-quarter net income.
    Thai shares hit their highest since April 22 on
gains in consumer and energy stocks. 
    Index heavyweight PTT PCL firmed 0.5 percent, while
retailer Siam Makro PCL rose to its highest in almost
two weeks. 
    Thailand's inflation annual headline consumer price index
rose 1.23 percent in April, slightly higher than a Reuters poll
forecast but within central bank's target range of 1 percent to
4 percent for a second consecutive month.
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AT 0327 GMT
 Market          Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore       3386.4    3400.2          -0.41
 Bangkok         1678.67   1673.52          0.31
 Manila          7989      7952.72          0.46
 Jakarta         6404.915  6455.352        -0.78
 Kuala Lumpur    1636.81   1642.29         -0.33
 Ho Chi Minh     976.45    979.64          -0.33
                                           
 Change on year                            
 Market          Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore       3386.4    3068.76         10.35
 Bangkok         1678.67   1563.88         7.34
 Manila          7989      7466.02         7.00
 Jakarta         6404.915  6194.498        3.40
 Kuala Lumpur    1636.81   1690.58         -3.18
 Ho Chi Minh     976.45    892.54          9.40
 
 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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