SE Asia Stocks-Singapore falls on bleak economic forecast
By Hanna Paul Aug 11 (Reuters) - Singapore shares fell on Thursday after the city-state cut its economic growth forecast for the year, while Philippine stocks declined for a second straight session on lack of positive news and ahead of a central bank policy decision later in the day. Singapore cut its economic growth forecast, to 1-2 percent from 1-3 percent, on concerns over Brexit and weakening global demand, leaving the door open for additional policy stimulus, after the contracting financial services sector hurt the economy in the second quarter. The revision got everyone by surprise, said Irvin Seah, an economist with Singapore-based DBS Bank, adding the market consensus was that they would maintain their forecast. Broad risk sentiment also remained on the back foot as a build in U.S. crude inventories and record Saudi Arabian production weighed on markets. Philippine shares fell as much as 0.6 percent, dragged down by financial stocks such as GT Capital Holdings and investment holding company Metro Pacific Investments Corp . "Lack of catalysts is driving the market down as the focus is still on corporate earnings which failed to impress investors. We are also in a ghost month as investors are away or not that invested right now," said Grace Aller, an analyst with Manila-based AP Securities. The Philippine central bank said on July 28 that it did not see the need to change its monetary policy stance after the Federal Reserve said near-term risks to the U.S. economic outlook had diminished. Meanwhile, Vietnam shares rose for a fourth consecutive session to a near two-week high, driven by consumer staples and financials, while Indonesian stocks edged up ahead of the release of July car sales data. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0442 GMT Market Current previous Pct Move close Singapore 2864.06 2875.57 -0.40 Bangkok 1548.69 1548.13 0.04 Manila 8001.14 8051.4 -0.62 Jakarta 5449.409 5423.949 0.47 Kuala Lumpur 1674.63 1673.03 0.10 Ho Chi Minh 653.89 648.33 0.86 Change on year Market Current End prev yr Pct Move Singapore 2864.06 2882.73 -0.65 Bangkok 1548.69 1288.02 20.24 Manila 8001.14 6952.08 15.09 Jakarta 5449.409 4593.008 18.65 Kuala Lumpur 1674.63 1692.51 -1.06 Ho Chi Minh 653.89 579.03 12.93 (Reporting by Hanna Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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