SE Asia Stocks - Singapore up after unexpected policy easing

miércoles 28 de enero de 2015 00:39 GYT
 

BANGKOK, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Stocks in Singapore edged higher
in range-bound trading on Wednesday as an unexpectedly monetary
policy easing lifted sentiment, while Malaysia and Thailand were
little-changed ahead of policy reviews by their central banks.
    Singapore's central bank unexpectedly eased monetary policy
ahead of its scheduled review in April, in a move that extends
decisive shifts by global policymakers to counter deflationary
pressures and slowing growth. 
    A fall in U.S. stocks overnight kept investors cautious,
brokers in Singapore said. Asian stock markets also followed
Wall Street into the red early on Wednesday.  
    The Straits Times Index was a tad higher at
3,414.47, climbing at one point to 3,427.19. Gains were broad
based, with Singapore Telecommunications and United
Overseas Bank among the actively traded. 
    Singapore's dollar hit its weakest on Wednesday in
nearly 4-1/2 years. 
    "The easing in the short term is not bad for the market
because it's good in terms of liquidity. But the hope for market
investors in the long term is more about the economy," said a
Singapore-based equity trader.
    The Thai index rose 0.3 percent as the low
free-float Bank of Ayudhya jumped 4.2 percent, and was
the top performer on the 50 large-cap index. Hotel
group Minor International gained 1.5 percent on a plan
to buy assets in Portugal and Brazil. 
    "We expect the Thai market to trade range-bound on
Wednesday, awaiting more macro factors like the Thai MPC meeting
results this afternoon and the US FOMC decision tonight local
time," broker KGI Securities said in a report.
    Sixteen of 20 economists in a Reuters poll predict the
one-day repurchase rate will be left at 2.0
percent. The other four expect a 25 basis points cut, citing the
slow economic recovery and benign inflation. 
    The decision is due around 0730 GMT.
    In Kuala Lumpur, the index slipped 0.3 percent, led
down by financial and banking shares such as Hong Leong
Financial Group and Malayan Banking.
    Malaysia's central bank will likely stand pat on interest
rates at its policy meeting on Wednesday due to mounting
economic risks from sliding oil prices and a fragile ringgit.
 
    The Philippine main index was headed for a fourth
straight gain, up 0.3 percent at 7,653.07, an all-time high. 
    
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
 Change at 0359 GMT
 Market             Current     Prev Close    Pct Move
 Singapore          3414.47       3412.20       +0.07
 Kuala Lumpur       1797.72       1803.17       -0.31
 Bangkok            1594.75       1589.81       +0.31
 Jakarta            5273.04       5277.15       -0.08
 Manila             7653.07       7630.57       +0.29 
 Ho Chi Minh         581.37        579.30       +0.36
 
 (Reporting by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Prateek
Chatterjee)