September 19, 2019 / 3:55 AM / a month ago

SE Asia Stocks-Trade in tight range amid cloudy Fed outlook

    * U.S. Fed cuts interest rates as expected
    * Indonesia slips ahead of central bank meet
    * Malaysia on track to fall for a second session

    By Anushka Trivedi
    Sept 19 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets traded in
a tight range on Thursday, as investors laid off heavy bets
after the U.S. Federal Reserve delivered an expected rate cut
but provided limited insight on its next move.
    Fed Chair Jerome Powell described the U.S. economic outlook
as "favorable," and said the policy easing was meant to insure
against ongoing risks including sluggish global growth and
ongoing trade tensions.
    The Fed's cautious stance will be of little help to Asian
policymakers who are weighing additional measures. Indonesia's
central bank is set to meet later in the day and the Philippines
the week after, while Fed's cloudy outlook offers less room for
them to ease their respective rates, giving them fewer tools to
tackle their cooling economies. 
    "Should Fed officials continue conveying mixed policy
outlook to global investors, that could trigger bouts of
volatility as markets contend with the uncertain projections
surrounding U.S. interest rates," Han Tan, market analyst at
brokerage FXTM said in a note. 
    Indonesian shares traded a tad lower ahead of the
central bank policy decision as financials strained the
benchmark. 
    Bank Indonesia is largely expected to slash rates, according
to a Reuters poll, with government officials stating the policy
would be aimed at supporting Indonesia's GDP expansion in light
of a global economic slowdown.
    Lenders Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT and
Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT dropped 0.7% and 1.4%,
respectively.
    The Thai bourse touched a two-week low as local
energy players came under pressure from an overnight tumble in
oil prices. Top oil producer PTT PCL slipped 1.1%
after scaling 3.2% in the previous session.  
    The Malaysian benchmark index was poised to close
lower for a second session, dented by consumer and telecom
sectors. 
   A dip in palm oil prices hurt producers of the commodity such
as Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and IOI Corp Bhd
, while telco Digi.com Bhd dropped 1.5%.
    Singapore shares and the Philippine index were
largely unchanged.

       
For Asian Companies click;  

SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0352 GMT
    
 Change on the day                                
 Market                 Current   Previous close  Pct Move
 Singapore              3163.79   3166.84         -0.10
 Bangkok                1647.7    1654.14         -0.39
 Manila                 7913.91   7915.29         -0.02
 Jakarta                6247.918  6276.633        -0.46
 Kuala Lumpur           1594.73   1599.49         -0.30
 Ho Chi Minh            993.85    995.15          -0.13
                                                  
 Change so far in 2019                            
 Market                 Current   End 2018        Pct Move
 Singapore              3163.79   3068.76         3.10
 Bangkok                1647.7    1563.88         5.36
 Manila                 7913.91   7,466.02        6.00
 Jakarta                6247.918  6,194.50        0.86
 Kuala Lumpur           1594.73   1690.58         -5.67
 Ho Chi Minh            993.85    892.54          11.35
 
 (Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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