SE Asia Stocks-Tepid ahead of Fed, BOJ meeting
By Aparajita Saxena July 26 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets were cautious on Tuesday as investors steered away from risky assets ahead of central bank meetings in the United States and Japan. The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady on Wednesday, but traders will be closely parsing its statement for clues on policy direction. "Investors are on a wait-and-see mode right now, ahead of the Fed meeting," said Mikey Macanaig, an analyst with Sunsecurities Inc. "We don't know what the impact of Brexit is and it'll be a big risk for the U.S. to hike interest rates so soon." Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan is expected to ease policy later this month, according to a majority of economists polled by Reuters, who said a combination of measures would be used in another attempt to boost anaemic inflation. "Japan is in a risky situation right now, but we definitely are expecting some sort of an economic easing in Japan," said Macanaig. Vietnam shares led the losses in the region and were on track for a sixth session of falls. The market is likely to remain in a "short-term cumulative correcting phase before confirming trend in the medium- and long-term," Vietcombank Securities said in a note. Energy stocks were among the top losers, with Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corp easing 4.8 percent. Singapore shares were down for a second day, with industrials accounting for most of the decline. Singapore's industrial production in June fell slightly more than expected from a year earlier, as sharp falls in marine and offshore engineering output and pharmaceuticals production offset a jump in electronics output. Philippine shares gained as much as 0.5 percent after President Rodrigo Duterte vowed on Monday to push for several economic reforms to support the economy. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKET STOCK MARKETS Change at 0419 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2918.68 2929.85 -0.38 Bangkok 1512.57 1512.66 -0.01 Manila 7369.68 7376.41 -0.09 Jakarta 5213.92 5220.802 -0.13 Kuala Lumpur 1663.77 1668.26 -0.27 Ho Chi Minh 644.15 649.3 -0.79 Change on year Market Current End 2015 Pct Move Singapore 2918.68 2882.73 1.25 Bangkok 1512.57 1288.02 17.43 Manila 7369.68 6952.08 6.01 Jakarta 5213.92 4593.008 13.52 Kuala Lumpur 1663.77 1692.51 -1.70 Ho Chi Minh 644.15 579.03 11.25 (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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