May 2, 2019 / 10:01 AM / 23 days ago

SE Asia Stocks-Most drop as Fed dashes rate-cut hopes

    * Indonesia drops 1.3 pct as financials falter
    * Malaysia declines to over one-week closing low 
    * Philippines gains after S&P raises credit rating

    By Aditya Soni
    May 2 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed
lower on Thursday as the U.S. central bank dampened expectations
of monetary policy easing in the near term, while Philippine
shares rose after S&P Global upgraded the country's credit
rating.
    Indonesian shares dropped 1.3 percent after the U.S.
Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday and
signalled little appetite to adjust them any time soon.
    "Chair (Jerome) Powell delivered a not-so-dovish delight for
equity markets," said Stephen Innes, managing partner and head
of trading, SPI Asset Management.
    Banking stocks dominated losses on the Indonesian benchmark
index, which fell the most in Southeast Asia. Bank Danamon
Indonesia Tbk PT slumped 19.8 percent to its lowest
close since Oct. 24, 2018.
    Some banks have reported higher loan risks, which has served
as a warning for worsening asset quality going forward, said
Lucky Ariesandi, a research analyst with PT Bahana Securities. 
    Considering that the Fed will stand pat and the local
central bank is expected to cut rates before the end of the
year, there are no catalysts for banks in the near term, he
added.
    While a rate cut by Bank Indonesia would help bolster
growth, it would put pressure on earnings of the financial
sector as margins would thin out.
    Malaysian shares dropped to a more than one-week
closing low, with DiGi.Com Bhd declining the most in
four-and-a-half months. 
    Singapore shares, which have outperformed other
regional markets so far this year, slipped 0.2 percent. 
    DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Southeast Asia's largest
lender, dropped 2.3 percent, its biggest in almost six months,
and accounted for most of the losses on the city-state's main
index. 
    Philippine stocks firmed to a more than three-week
closing high as investors took heart from S&P Global's move to
raise the country's long-term rating to "BBB+" on a strong
growth trajectory. 
    Universal Robina Corp surged 7.7 percent to its
highest close in more than a year and was the biggest boost to
the benchmark stock index. 
    Thai shares scaled a near six-month high on the back
of gains in consumer and utilities stocks.     
    
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3393.33   3400.2          -0.20
 Bangkok            1679.17   1673.52         0.34
 Manila             8001.57   7952.72         0.61
 Jakarta            6374.422  6455.352        -1.25
 Kuala Lumpur       1632.24   1642.29         -0.61
 Ho Chi Minh        978.5     979.64          -0.12
                                              
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore          3393.33   3068.76         10.58
 Bangkok            1679.17   1563.88         7.37
 Manila             8001.57   7466.02         7.17
 Jakarta            6374.422  6194.498        2.90
 Kuala Lumpur       1632.24   1690.58         -3.45
 Ho Chi Minh        978.5     892.54          9.63
 

 (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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