SE Asia Stocks-Take a pause ahead of BoE policy decision
By Ruchira Kondepudi July 14 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets took a breather on Thursday after three straight sessions of gains, as investors awaited a policy meeting of the Bank of England where it is expected to cut rates to ward off recession following Britain's vote to leave the European Union. The BoE is expected to halve its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.25 percent when it makes a monthly policy statement later in the day. Then, at its following meeting in three weeks' time, the central bank is likely to revive its massive bond-buying programme, according to a Reuters poll of economists. BoE Governor Mark Carney had indicated two weeks ago that the central bank would need to pump more stimulus. Investors are taking a wait-and-see stance ahead of stimulus measures that various central banks are expected to roll out soon, said Grace Aller, an analyst with Manila-based AP Securities. While the European Central Bank is expected to keep policy on hold at its meeting next week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for a fiscal stimulus, expected to reach about 2 percent of GDP, following his recent election victory. "The valuations are pretty high at the moment, therefore most investors are profit-taking. There are no real global headwinds to pull down the markets, there aren't also any catalysts to push the markets higher. So, it is consolidating at the moment," she added. Indonesian shares shed 0.5 percent with telecoms and basic materials among the top losers, while Singapore was slightly down after three days of gains, as the city-state reported a slower-than-expected economic growth for the April-June period. Vietnam shares rose 0.6 percent, helped by financials such as BIDV Insurance Corp and consumer non-cyclicals. Asian markets were largely up, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hitting an eight-month high. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS STOCK MARKETS Change at 0415 GMT Market Current Previous Pct Move Close Singapore 2907.07 2910.65 -0.12 Bangkok 1480.3 1477.61 0.18 Manila 7961.23 7944.02 0.22 Jakarta 5109.568 5133.933 -0.47 Kuala Lumpur 1656.59 1660.39 -0.23 Ho Chi Minh 572.74 572.27 0.08 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2907.07 2882.73 0.84 Bangkok 1480.3 1288.02 14.93 Manila 7961.23 6952.08 14.52 Jakarta 5109.568 4593.008 11.25 Kuala Lumpur 1656.59 1692.51 -2.12 Ho Chi Minh 572.74 579.03 -1.09 (Reporting by Ruchira Kondepudi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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