February 14, 2018 / 10:36 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Muted ahead of U.S. inflation data

    * Ayala Land helps Philippines end higher
    * Singapore, Thailand down 0.4 percent

    By Christina Martin
    Feb 14 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were
subdued on Wednesday ahead of U.S. inflation numbers, with
Thailand recording its lowest close in three sessions weighed
down by financials and energy stocks.
    All eyes are on U.S. consumer price readings due later in
the day that will be key to where stocks move in the short term,
given it was the risk of accelerating inflation that sparked the
recent global equity rout.
    Thailand dropped 0.4 percent with PTT PCL
falling 1.6 percent and Bank of Ayudhya PCL losing 2.2
    The country's central bank left its benchmark interest rate
unchanged on Wednesday, near record lows, saying it expects
inflation to stay largely subdued. 
    "For the most part we were dominated by a hefty dose of
dollar weakness ahead of a very important U.S. CPI data report.
Traders are positioning for weaker inflation data amidst broader
position adjustments," said Stephen Innes, head of trading for
Asia Pacific at Oanda. 
    Singapore shares slid 0.4 percent, dragged down by
    "Certainly, China Lunar New Year is factoring into the
equation as traders reduce exposures." Innes added.    
    The country's fourth-quarter economic growth was revised
lower on a quarter-on-quarter basis on Wednesday, due to a
contraction in the manufacturing sector. 
    Heavyweights Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd
 and United Overseas Bank Ltd reported strong
quarterly net profit growth but downgraded their exposure to the
weak oil and gas sector, making them the biggest losers on the
    Philippine shares recovered to end 0.3 percent higher
led by real estate stocks. Ayala Land Inc was the top
gainer on the index after posting a 21 percent jump in full-year
net income. 
    Malaysia closed slightly up, gaining some support
from data that showed its economy expanded 5.9 percent in the
fourth quarter, growing more strongly than expected.
    Financials and materials outperformed other sectors on the
index, with CIMB Group Holdings Bhd adding 0.9 percent
and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd rising 1.3 percent.
    Indonesia shares rose 0.3 percent to their highest
close in almost two weeks. Vietnam was closed for a holiday. 
For Asian Companies click;  

 Change on the day                            
 Market             Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore          3402.86   3415.07         -0.36
 Bangkok            1792.09   1800.03         -0.44
 Manila             8598.11   8570.14         0.33
 Jakarta            6594.401  6578.178        0.25
 Kuala Lumpur       1834.93   1833.02         0.10
 Change on year                               
 Market             Current   End 2017        Pct Move
 Singapore          3402.86   3402.92         0.00
 Bangkok            1792.09   1753.71         2.19
 Manila             8598.11   8558.42         0.46
 Jakarta            6594.401  6355.654        3.76
 Kuala Lumpur       1834.93   1796.81         2.12

 (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas
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