SE Asia Stocks-Fall on fears over BOJ bond-buying program; Philippines down 2 pct
By Hanna Paul Aug 3 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday, in line with Asian peers and weaker U.S. and European shares, as fears that the Bank of Japan may retreat from its massive bond-buying campaign spooked debt markets and investors globally. While Japanese bonds steadied on Wednesday they have still suffered the worst sell-off in over three years as investors feared the BoJ was out of easing ammunition and might leave it to fiscal policy to stimulate the economy. Tokyo on Tuesday approved 13.5 trillion yen ($132 billion) in fiscal measures and the IMF urged Japan to mix fiscal stimulus with further central bank easing measures that could include rate cuts and more asset purchases. "Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's stimulus details didn't give rise to much optimism, which in turn has been inferred as a cue whereby Bank of Japan may not step up bond-buying," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank in Singapore. "We don't think BOJ is going to capitulate on their commitment to bond-buying. Nonetheless, the pessimism has come with a fair bit of disappointment." Weak U.S. economic data and disappointing auto sales numbers drove Wall Street down along with a drop in the U.S. dollar which fell to a six-week low. European stocks dropped to a three-week low, dragged down by banks such as Commerzbank, adding to the jittery mood as it sparked sell-offs in banking stocks. Philippines fell as much as 2 percent, its lowest in more than three weeks, dragged down by industrial and financial stocks. Infrastructure group Aboitiz Equity Ventures led the losers, and was trading 6.1 percent lower. Singapore stocks retreated as much as 1 percent to their lowest since June 29, dragged down by oil and financial stocks. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp was down 2.6 percent, while Sembcorp Marine fell 1.9 percent. U.S. crude futures remained below $40 per barrel and Brent was below $42 as ongoing fuel oversupply and stuttering economic growth weighed on markets. Indonesia fell marginally, dragged down by telecom stocks. The index hit its highest since April 2015 on Tuesday. Vietnam fell to its lowest in five weeks. Bucking the trend, Thai shares edged up ahead of a decision on benchmark interest rates by the Bank of Thailand later in the day. Asian shares fell, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 1 percent, backing away from its recent one-year peak. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0448 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2830.17 2856.67 -0.93 Bangkok 1500.66 1497.51 0.21 Manila 7876.64 8037.78 -2.00 Jakarta 5366.728 5373.323 -0.12 Kuala Lumpur 1651.48 1660.23 -0.53 Ho Chi Minh 631.02 636.05 -0.79 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2830.17 2882.73 -1.82 Bangkok 1500.66 1288.02 16.51 Manila 7876.64 6952.08 13.30 Jakarta 5366.728 4593.008 16.85 Kuala Lumpur 1651.48 1692.51 -2.42 Ho Chi Minh 631.02 579.03 8.98 (Reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)
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